August Brings Lowest Unemployment Rate Since February 2020

Published on: September 16th, 2021

A recent report from Statistics Canada shows an increase of 90,000 jobs this August 2021, making it the third consecutive month of employment gains. This increase has brought Canada to its lowest unemployment rate since February 2020, right before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Increases were seen mainly in the provinces of Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Nova Scotia. Employment rises were mainly in accommodation and food services, followed by information, culture, and recreation.

Employment rate for recent immigrants continues to increase

The employment rate for immigrants that have been in Canada for five years or less has also continued on an upward trend, reaching 70.4% last month. This is down just 2.2 percentage points from pre-pandemic levels.

Lowest unemployment rate since pre-pandemic

Unemployment rates peaked to 13.4% in May 2020 and has continued to gradually decrease until eventually returning to pre-COVID levels last month. Prior to the pandemic, in February 2020 unemployment was at record lows, hovering at 5.7%. Last month, unemployment rates fell to 7.1%.

Immigration as key to economic recovery

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau views immigration as key to Canada’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. In October 2020, Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that they will be increasing immigration targets over the next three years to welcome over 1.2 million new permanent residents. This increase was part of the Government of Canada’s plan to support the country’s economic recovery through immigration. While campaigning for the ongoing federal election, Trudeau has also mentioned that he plans to increase immigration targets even further if re-elected to make up for lost time during the pandemic.

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