Canada’s economy lost 207,000 jobs in April, as a new round of government-ordered lockdowns forced businesses to lay off workers.
Statistics Canada reported Friday that 129,000 full-time jobs were lost, along with an additional 78,000 part-time positions.
The jobless rate ticked up to 8.1 per cent from 7.5 per cent a month earlier.
While economists were expecting jobs to be lost in the month, the figure came in worse than the 175,000 losses expected.
Almost half of the job losses were young workers, those between 15 and 24 years old. Most of the job losses were in hard-hit sectors that employ a lot of young people: retail, food services and information, culture and recreation.
Almost all the job losses were concentrated in Ontario and British Columbia, two provinces that implemented strict coronavirus control measures to try to keep a lid on rising COVID-19 numbers.
Ontario lost 153,000 jobs and the jobless rate rose to nine per cent. B.C., meanwhile, lost 43,000, while the jobless rate held steady at 7.1 per cent.
Saskatchewan and New Brunswick added a small number of jobs, and in every other province the job market was basically flat.
Sri Thanabalasingam, an economist with TD Bank, said that April’s figures confirm what economists had been suspecting: that the economic recovery from COVID-19 took a step back last month — and we may not have turned the corner yet, either.
“With restrictions remaining in place across the country, Canada’s labour market recovery will probably not fully course correct in May,” Thanabalasingam said.
“The snapback could occur in June, however, as the vaccination rollout ramps up, and caseloads gradually decline in large parts of the country. Better days are ahead for the Canadian labour market, but it may take a little longer to get there.”