Canada

Canada’s economy has lost jobs for 2 months in a row, down 74,000 since May | CBC News

Canada’s economy lost 30,600 jobs in July, Statistics Canada said Friday.

It’s the second month in a row of lost jobs, coming on the heels of 43,000 jobs lost in June. Economists had been expecting the economy to eke out a slight gain of about 15,000 jobs, but instead the employment pool shrank.

Most of the losses came in the service sector, which lost 53,000 positions. That was offset by a gain of 23,000 jobs in goods-producing industries.

Despite the decline, the jobless rate held steady at its record low of 4.9 per cent, because while there were fewer jobs, there were fewer people looking for work, too.

As of the end of July, the data agency says there were about one million people in Canada officially classified as unemployed, which means they want a job but don’t have one. Another 426,000 people wanted a job but didn’t look for one during the month, so they are not officially counted among the ranks of the unemployed.

The million or so people without a job compare with 19.5 million Canadians who had some sort of paid work during the month.

Canada’s soft job market stands in stark contrast to that in the U.S., where the economy added 528,000 jobs last month. That’s twice as many as economists were expecting.

While the monthly job number is always volatile, and is especially so in the summer months, Tiago Figueiredo, an economist with Desjardins says the underwhelming number suggests Canada’s “labour market slammed the brakes in July.”

“With that said, the labour market still remains tight and there’s scope for a further weakness in employment as economic growth slows.”

While the economy is shedding jobs overall, many sectors are expanding robustly, such as aviation, says Arvin Nagules with Menzies Aviation. (CBC)

While the economy has fewer workers today than it did in May, many sectors and employers report that hiring remains robust. The tourism sector was hit perhaps harder than any other sector by the pandemic, but as demand returns, so is the need for workers.

Laura Pallotta, vice-president with Marriott Hotels, says the chain is currently trying to hire as many as 1,000 people across the country, even as the overall economic outlook darkens.

“We believe that we need to continue to hire back positions and roles [because] we see demand for Canada over the next number of years will continue to be strong,” she told CBC News in an interview.

Arvin Nagules, senior vice-president with Menzies Aviation, which provides a variety of airport services across Canada and abroad, says his industry is also trying to ramp staffing levels up quickly.

He says airlines and airports have done as much hiring in the past two or three months as they would normally do in a number of years. “It’s not just the airline industry. Everyone’s fighting for the same group of people,” he said in an interview.

 

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