Last Updated on April 9, 2021
Canada’s unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, according to the latest federal government figures released Friday.
The Statistics Canada Labour Market Survey recorded unemployment of 7.5 percent, as Canada jobs increased by 303,100 during the month, moving employment within 1.5 percent of pre-COVID levels.
The gains covered both full and part-time work, while the number of self-employed people also rose for the first time in three months.
Canada currently has 371,000 more people unemployed than February 2020, the last month before coronavirus restrictions were first imposed.
However, with Canada entering a third wave and restrictions re-imposed since the Statistics Canada data for March was compiled, it is possible the recovery will be halted in April.
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Demographically, the most dramatic gains were seen for young people aged 15 to 24, who added 115,000 jobs for an unemployment rate of 14 percent.
In the core age group of 25 to 54-year-olds, 87,000 jobs were added in March, building on an increase of 134,000 in February.
A further 101,000 jobs were added in the 55 and older age range.
What Are The Labour Force Survey Highlights?
|Unemployment rate (%)||7.5|
|Employment rate (%)||50.3|
|Labour force participation rate (%)||65.2|
|Youth (15-24) unemployment rate (%)||14.0|
|Men (over 25) unemployment rate (%)||6.6|
|Women (over 25) unemployment rate (%)||6.2|
Source: Statistics Canada
Provincial Canada Jobs Picture
Nine out of 10 Canadian provinces saw employment increases in March, with Saskatchewan recording no change as the only outlier.
Major gains were seen in Ontario, which added 182,300 jobs for an unemployment rate of 7.5 percent and Alberta, adding 37,100 jobs with 9.1 percent unemployment.
Unemployment Rates In Canada’s Provinces
|Jobs change in last month||Unemployment rate (%)|
|Prince Edward Island||1,300||8.1|
|Newfoundland & Labrador||13,400||12.4|
Source: Statistics Canada
British Columbia and Quebec also added significant numbers of jobs (35,000 and 25,900) for unemployment rates of 6.9 percent and 6.4 percent respectively.
Newfoundland & Labrador also enjoyed a month of progress, adding 13,400 jobs for an unemployment rate of 12.4 percent.
Canada Jobs Industry Picture
Industries most affected by coronavirus restrictions showed the main growth in March, spearheaded by the 95,000 jobs added in retail trade, a 4.5 percent increase.
Employment in information, culture and recreation increased for the first time since September, adding 62,000 jobs.
Construction added 26,000 jobs in March, contributing the majority of the 43,000 jobs added in the goods-producing sector.