November Labour Force Survey: Muddling Through
Employment rises, but numbers are already out of date.
The Canadian labour market continued to trudge through the pandemic’s second wave as of early November. Employment growth eased, but remained at a pace that would be quite solid in normal times.
Pandemic-exposed industries like accommodation and food services, as well as information, culture and recreation eased once again. However, their declines weren’t too sharp, and were more than offset by gains elsewhere, including areas like construction and transportation, which had also been lagging.
The issue is that today’s data release, covering November 8 to 14, is already a bit stale. Both the pandemic, and its resulting economic restrictions have continued to increase since the first half of November, leaving us without much of a sense of where the labour market currently stands. On a positive note, many employers appear to be looking ahead to next year, as job postings on Indeed held up through the end of November, at a time when they’re usually declining. Nonetheless, the Canadian labour market’s streak of gains will be in jeopardy in December, as the economic hit from the second wave really starts to bite.
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.