The Canadian job market took a positive step forward in June, albeit not quite the leap we were hoping for. The restart of several pandemic exposed sectors drove a large increase in part-time work, reversing most of the economy-wide drop over the prior two months. That said, the gains ring a tad hollow, as a sharp fall in self employment weighed on full-time jobs, while total hours worked were relatively flat. Still, positive developments for young workers provided further signs that the economic reopening offers opportunities for groups who’ve been shut out of the recovery so far.
The June numbers are just a first snapshot of the potential gains as the pandemic recedes. Notably, the mid-month reference week was early in Ontario’s relaxation of restrictions, and industries like personal care services have come back online since. Job postings in pandemic-exposed sectors like food services have surged across Canada in recent weeks, suggesting demand for workers to keep up with an influx of diners. At the same time, it’s important that less pandemic-exposed sectors like construction and manufacturing also show momentum to keep powering the labour market ahead once the quick gains from reopening pass.