By: Lynn Desjardins
Canada’s unemployment rate increased to 8.1 per cent in April 2021 from 7.5 per cent the month before, according to the government agency Statistics Canada. This occurred as rates of COVID-19 infection increased in many parts of the country and affected provinces reinstated restrictions on such things as non-essential business, indoor dining and gyms.
Unemployment fell in those sectors directly affected by public health restrictions such as retail trade, accommodation and food services, as well as information, culture and recreation. Employment increased in public administration, professional, scientific and technical services, and finance, insurance and real estate. These are three industries where much work can be done remotely.
March 2021 gains almost entirely wiped out
The number of Canadians working from home grew by 100,000 to 5.1 million. At the same time the total number of hours worked fell 2.7 per in April. This was driven by declines in educational services, accommodation and food services, and retail trade.
The job losses almost wiped out the March gains of 303,000 jobs. 207,000 jobs were lost in April. More of the losses occurred in full time jobs. Among the hardest hit provinces were Ontario and British Columbia.