August Labour Force Survey: Recovery Continues, Just Slower
Employment rose 1.4% in the month, compared to a 2.4% increase in July.
Canada’s labour market recovery had some gas left in the tank in August, posting another month of job solid gains, albeit at an easing pace from earlier in the summer. Unlike July, employment growth was tilted toward full-time work, a sign that business conditions are gradually getting back to normal. The boost from the reopening of previously shuttered sectors continued, with accommodation and food service, as well as other services (which include personal care), making outsized contributions to job growth, alongside a pop in education employment. On the flip side, jobs in construction, as well as transportation and warehousing industries were pretty flat.
In normal times, August’s employment growth would have been an outstanding increase. Yet in the shadows of the unparalleled job losses earlier in the pandemic, a massive hole remains in the labour market. Overall, Canada’s recouped 63% of the February to April employment drop. Given that a dwindling number of people indicate they’re on temporary layoff, the pace of recovery will likely ease further. The warm summer weather has surely helped get the job market somewhat back on its feet. Along with the changing seasons, uncertainty over the course of the pandemic offers a new test for the Canadian labour market going forward.
Brendon Bernard is an Economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab, focusing on the Canadian labour market. His research interests include analyzing how detailed trends in the job market fit in with broader developments in the Canadian economy. Brendon was previously an economist with Department of Finance Canada, where he focused on analyzing Canadian financial sector policy and the U.S. economy. He holds a Master’s in Economics from the Vancouver School of Economics at University of British Columbia, as well as a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from Queen’s University.