The upside surprises keep coming. While the quick wins for the job market from economic reopening will eventually fade, Canadian employment growth accelerated in September. Strength in pandemic-exposed industries was actually mixed: gains in information, culture, and recreation were mostly offset by a dip in accommodation and food services, the latter potentially influenced by the latest wave of COVID-19 cases. 

Instead, employment growth was driven by public administration, likely aided by a boost from the Federal election, as well as professional, scientific, and technical services, finance and real estate, and manufacturing, among others. Job growth in professional services has been particularly outstanding, with employment in the industry now a whopping 11.9% above where it stood in February 2020. 

With September’s strong showing, the overall number of Canadians working finally hit its pre-pandemic level, an impressive milestone. That said, this more signifies substantial progress from the depths of the decline last spring, rather than a return to full health. The population has grown, meaning the share of adults with a job isn’t yet back to normal. At its current pace, this milestone is more likely to be reached sometime next year. Still, with job postings on Indeed suggesting hiring appetite remains at elevated levels, the ongoing momentum in employment growth hopefully has further room to run.