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Canada’s economy recovers 94,000 jobs in July

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Canada’s economy was slightly closer to pre-pandemic levels in the last month.

Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey July examined Canada’s labor market conditions over the week of July 11-17. This week saw a significant decrease in public health restrictions across Canada due to high vaccination rates and low case numbers.

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Canada added 94,000 jobs in Canada in July. This puts employment at 1.3% below the February 2020 levels. Full-time employment, particularly in the service sector of the private sector, saw gains. The March rate of 7.5% unemployment was also lowered to 7.5%.

In the provinces of Ontario and Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia, employment grew.

The employment rate for recent immigrants continues to rise

Statistics Canada refers only to those immigrants who arrived in Canada within the last five years. Since March 2020, the numbers in this group have seen a decline.

Because their numbers are declining faster than their employment rate, the employment rate of very recent immigrants has been rising throughout the pandemic. They aren’t necessarily being employed more frequently than they were before the pandemic.

The July employment rate for very recently arrived immigrants was at 69%, an increase of one percentage point over June.

Employment among immigrants who have lived in Canada for over five years was 58.1 percent in July. This is a small percentage point lower than June.

In 2019, the number of recent immigrants in the labour force jumped from more than 61,000 in 2016 to 751,000 in 2019. Travel restrictions and other coronavirus-related measures caused a slowdown in growth in 2020.

Canada’s labor force has a lot of recent immigrants

Chart 8: The number of recent immigrants in Canada’s labour market stalls during COVID

Source: Statistics Canada

This year, however, the proportion of recent immigrants in the labour force is back to 2019 levels. They now account for almost 4% of the total workforce between January and July.

As a way to address Canada’s demographic problems, immigration in Canada is frequently discussed. Canada’s population is aging and the birthrate is low. All of these factors mean that Canada’s labour force shrinks and there isn’t enough natural growth to compensate. Canada’s economy won’t be as competitive internationally without immigration and other strategies that support the labour market.

The border was reopened to permanent residents at the end June when travel restrictions began to ease. Canada received 35,700 permanent residents in July, more than any other month during the pandemic. It is unknown how many new immigrants were admitted to Canada in July.

Statistics Canada has announced that its Labour Force Survey will be used to monitor whether Canada’s labor market continues to grow as travel restrictions are eased.

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