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CANADA ECONOMICS: TD on Employment Figures

· 02/05/2021 08:29

01:16 PM EST, 02/05/2021 (MT Newswires) -- Canada's labour market lost 213k jobs in January, the second straight month employment has fallen (December: -53k). This left the level of employment 4.5% below its pre-pandemic (February 2020) level, writes TD. Losses were once again concentrated in part-time positions (-225k), while full-time positions continued to see improvements last month (+13k).

Like employment, Canada's labour force also saw a decline in January, shrinking by 88k. However, given the larger contraction in employment, the unemployment rate rose to 9.4%, up from 8.8% in December. This was the highest level since August last year.

January's job losses were almost entirely concentrated in the service-producing sector (-236k). The industries hardest hit by the pandemic and associated restrictions saw the largest employment declines: accommodation and food services (-75k), retail trade (-160k), and information, culture and recreation (-17k). Manufacturing lost 12k jobs on the month.

Meanwhile, goods-producing sectors gained 23k jobs in January, with the bulk of new employment concentrated in the construction industry (+39k).

On a provincial basis, Ontario (-154k) and Quebec (-98k) accounted for most of January's employment losses. Tighter restrictions to combat the spread of COVID-19 took a heavy toll on retail trade and accommodation and food services employment in these two provinces. The only other province to see employment decline was Newfoundland and Labrador (-3k). All other provinces saw employment grow in January.

While the employment decline was steep, total hours worked increased by 0.9% in January. Gains in construction, finance, insurance, real estate and rental and leasing, and public administration more than offset the declines in other services as well as wholesale and retail trade, TD said.