Economy lost 68,000 jobs in May, unemployment rate rose slightly to 8.2%

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Canada’s labour market shed 68,000 jobs last month as tighter public health restrictions continued or were introduced in many regions of the country to slow the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey data released Friday shows the employment rate was 8.2 per cent, up from 8.1 per cent in April.

Most of the jobs lost, 54,000, were part-time, following a drop of 78,000 in April.

Ontario and Nova Scotia were the only provinces to register employment declines in total employment. The Statistics Canada report said the extension to Ontario’s stay-at-home order accounted for most of the employment decline. The drop in Nova Scotia was largely due to the province entering lockdown at the end of April.

Ontario’s jobless rate was pegged at 9.3 per cent, up from 9.0 per cent in April. Nova Scotia’s rate was 9.8 per cent, up from 8.1 per cent. Employment increased in Saskatchewan — its jobless rate was 6.3 per cent, down form 6.6 per cent — while there was little change in all other provinces.

The number of people working in manufacturing fell by 36,000, down two per cent, making that the first such decline in the industry since April 2020, the labour force survey found. Ontario and Quebec accounted for the majority of the overall decline in the sector.



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