Mostly freed from its lockdown shackles, Canada’s economy continued its robust recovery in July pumping out 419,000 jobs, the national statistics agency reported Friday.
Statistics Canada said the country’s unemployment rate in July dropped to 10.9 per cent from the 12.3 per cent recorded in June..
Combined with the 953,000 jobs gained in June and the 290,000 in May, the country was 1.3 million jobs short of the pre-pandemic level.
“The pace of increase in employment slowed in July relative to the prior month, and that’s likely to become a trend as the pace of easing in restrictions also slows down and the number of Canadians on temporary layoff falls,” CIBC senior economist Royce Mendes wrote in a note.
“The good news is that with virus cases low in Canada at the moment, the country isn’t facing an immediate risk of having to tamp down activity again.”
Most employment gains in July were in part-time work, which increased to the tune of 345,000 positions, while full-time positions increased by 73,000.
Job gains were sprinkled across most sectors, but the biggest gains were seen in the areas that had been shut down the hardest.
Both retail and wholesale trade and hotels and restaurants added just over 100,000 positions in July. Notably, the retail sector is now much closer to recouping all of its losses. However, hotels and restaurants are still more than 23 per cent down on year-to-year basis.
Douglas Porter, chief economist at BMO, said he would expect similarly solid results in August, especially as Ontario’s economy is more fully reopened.
“However, even then, it’s clear that fully recouping the shutdown losses will be a much lengthier affair, and the gains will be harder to come by now,” Porter wrote in a research note.
“True, with 55 per cent of the initial job losses now reversed, there are going to be some quite impressive-looking economic figures in the weeks ahead; but regaining the remaining 45 per cent of job losses (i.e., just over 1.3 million jobs to go) is the big challenge.”
With files from The Canadian Press