State of the Labour Market

June 2020 Labour Force Survey: The Job Market Enters Phase 2


Solid employment gain, but still a long way to go.

Today’s numbers provide a greater sense of where the Canadian labour market stands emerging from its pandemic-induced hibernation. Encouragingly, June gains didn’t just feature a return to work for furloughed workers, but also showed a decline in the number of people out of work due to permanent layoffs. Hours worked, which dropped even more than employment earlier on, are rebounding. Some of the sectors that experienced the sharpest job losses earlier in the crisis, like accommodation and food services, also saw noticeable snap-backs. 

Despite a lot of jobs being recouped since April, we’re not out of the woods yet. The overall employment rate is up 3.9 percentage points from it’s trough, but is still 5.8 points below its February level. That puts us at having recouped about 40% of initial job losses in two months. Bringing back the other 60% and mending the longer-term fallout could be more challenging. Some real-time measures of labour market activity, including new postings on Indeed, have lost some momentum since the June Labour Force Survey reference week, which could mean slower progress going forward. 

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