(The Canadian Press)

Statistics Canada says country gained 419,000 jobs in July

National unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July, down from the 12.3 per cent recorded in June

Canada’s labour market gained 419,000 jobs last month as more parts of the economy were allowed to reopen, Statistics Canada reported Friday, moving past the halfway mark in recouping heavy losses at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The national unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July, down from the 12.3 per cent recorded in June and sliding further away from the record-high 13.7 per cent in May.

But underneath the figures there was new data about the unequal impact of the historic shifts in the workforce as the statistics agency reported that rates were well above average for racialized workers.

South Asian, Arab and Black workers had seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates of 17 per cent or more, with rates even higher for women than men, compared with a rate of 9.3 per cent for people not designated a visible minority or identified as Indigenous.

Statistics Canada says the higher rates for racialized workers could be linked, in part, to their greater numbers in some of the industries hardest hit by pandemic-related shutdowns, such as accommodation and food services where employment dropped by more than half over March and April.

The details mark the first time the agency’s monthly labour force survey has captured disaggregated data by race and visible minority status, putting numbers to the narrative about disproportionate impacts on women, youth, low-wage workers, and racialized communities.

The overall figures were slightly better than expected, with the average economist estimate for a gain of 400,000 jobs in July and an unemployment rate of 11 per cent, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

Combined with the 953,000 jobs gained in June and the 290,000 in May, the country was within 1.3 million jobs of the pre-pandemic level. About three million jobs were lost over March and April.

“The pace of increase in employment slowed in July relative to the prior month, and that’s likely to become a trend as the pace of easing in restrictions also slows down and the number of Canadians on temporary layoff falls,” CIBC senior economist Royce Mendes wrote in a note.

“The good news is that with virus cases low in Canada at moment, the country isn’t facing an immediate risk of having to tamp down activity again.”

Most employment gains in July were in part-time work, which increased to the tune of 345,000 positions, while full-time positions increased by 73,000.

Part-time gains have outpaced full-time work in each of the past three months, Statistics Canada noted, with part-time work within five per cent of its pre-COVID-19 levels compared with full-time work, which is still down 7.5 per cent from February before the pandemic struck.

The agency says nearly 30 per cent of people working less than 30 hours a week in July would have preferred full-time work, an increase from the 22.2 per cent recorded one year earlier.

Statistics Canada says the finding suggests that employers, at least for now, may be limiting the number of hours being offered even as restrictions ease.

About 266,0000 more people were looking for work in July, the third consecutive month of gains, but that’s still down almost 300,000 from where it was in February.

The agency says the unemployment rate would have been 13.8 per cent in July if it had included in calculations those who wanted to work but didn’t look for a job.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Employment

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19. (File photo)
432 new COVID cases sets another record Friday

Central zone holds steady at 126 active cases

The future site of the Rimbey Travel Centre. Web photo
New Rimbey development aims to capitalize on highway traffic

Phase I of the Rimbey Travel Centre would be along Hwy. 20, if approved

"We are looking seriously at the spread and determining what our next steps should be," says Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, as the daily number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb.
427 new COVID cases is highest in Alberta ever

Central zone has 126 active cases of COVID-19

soup
Rimbey FCSS to introduce the Cultural Community Kitchen

The Cultural Community Kitchen sessions will be held at the Rimbey Co-op

robbery
UPDATE: Shooting suspect arrested by Wetaskiwin/Camrose RCMP

Rimbey RCMP had responded to a complaint of an armed robbery at the Bluffton City General Store

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
VIDEO: One day until B.C. voters go to the polls in snap election defined by pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan’s decision to call an election comes more than a year ahead of schedule and during a pandemic

Ryen Williams, 11, with a lost miniature horse at JJ Collett Oct. 23. Photo by Don Williams
UPDATE: Owners found

Father and son found him while out for a walk at JJ Collett

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

Conservative member of Parliament Michelle Rempel Garner, left to right, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole and Conservative Deputy Leader Candice Bergen arrive to hold a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No-confidence showdown over sweeping Tory motion on government handling of pandemic

The Conservative motion is to be put to a vote Monday and has the support of both the Bloc Québécois and NDP

From l-r., first lady Melania Trump, President Donald Trump, moderator Kristen Welker of NBC News, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden on stage at the conclusion of the second and final presidential debate Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Trump, Biden fight over the raging virus, climate and race

Republican president declared the virus, which killed more than 1,000 Americans on Thursday alone, will “go away.”

JJ Collett Natural Area Foundation held its AGM on Oct. 19 at the Ponoka Legion. (Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
De-listing Alberta parks creates ‘risk’ for coal mining: CPAWS

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society speaks at JJ Collett AGM

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Temporary COVID-19 testing sites coming to Wetaskiwin and Ponoka

The Wetaskiwin location will open Oct. 23, 2020 and the Ponoka location will open Oct. 29.

ACC President and CEO Ken Kobly spoke to Ponoka Chamber of Commerce members over Zoom on Oct. 20. (Image: screenshot)
Alberta chambers are ‘411’ to members, government: ACC president

Changes to government supports, second wave and snap election

Most Read