Canada’s unemployment rate reaches 8.1 percent

Ottawa: The Canadian unemployment rate rose 0.6 percentage point to 8.1 percent in April from March 2021 as public health measures against the Covid-19 pandemic were tightened.

In a statement on Friday, Statistics Canada on Friday said that employment decreased by 207,000, down 1.1 per cent in April as full-time work lost 129,000 jobs, down 0.8 per cent and part-time work was reduced by 78,000 jobs, down 2.3 per cent, reports Xinhua news agency.

The number of employed people working less than half their usual hours increased by 288,000, up 27.2 per cent, while the number of Canadians working from home grew by 100,000 to 5.1 million.

Total hours worked fell 2.7 per cent in April, driven by declines in educational services, accommodation and food services, as well as retail trade.

The labour under-utilisation rate, which captures the full range of people who are available and want to work, rose 2.3 percentage points to 17 per cent in April.

In April, the number of Canadians unemployed for 27 weeks or more increased to 486,000.

Employment fell in several industries directly impacted by tightened public health restrictions against the pandemic, namely retail trade, accommodation and food services, information, culture and recreation while employment in goods-producing industries was little changed.

The job losses in April nearly wiped out the 303,000 jobs added in March when the economy outpaced expectations.

Statistics Canada said the unemployment rate would have been 10.5 per cent in March, had it included in calculations Canadians who wanted to work but did not search for a job.

Lockdowns and tight restrictions have continued into May and could mean more losses show up when Statistics Canada reveals May’s employment report.