With restrictions imposed yet again following the second wave of the pandemic, Canada is again experiencing job losses. In January itself, the country lost 2,12,800 jobs, whereas in December last year, it had lost over 52,000 jobs. Experts had predicted that only about 40,000 more jobs would be lost, but the actual number was much higher.
Not surprisingly, the unemployment rate jumped to 9.4 per cent, from the earlier 8.8 per cent, whereas the prediction was 8.9 per cent. With fresh restrictions in place, in addition to stay-home orders, recovery seems rather far fetched. The labor participation rate fell 0.3 percentage points in January to 64.7 per cent, which is the lowest rate since August.
Maximum jobs have been affected in areas that have been most impacted by new and continuing public health restrictions — accommodation and food services (-8.2 per cent), retail trade (-7.4 per cent), and information, culture, and recreation (-2.4 per cent). Media reports say that the number of long-term unemployed still remains at a record high of 512,000.
However, the labour market is in a better situation now than it was during March and April 2020, when the employment had reduced by three million. The hours of work jumped 0.9 per cent in January. Most of the job losses happened in part-time positions, with women, youth and racialised workers bearing the maximum brunt amidst the uncertainty.