Statistics Canada reported today (10-8-21) that employment increased for the fourth consecutive month in September, rising by 157,000 (+0.8%). Employment gains in September were concentrated in full-time work and among people in the core working age group of 25 to 54. Increases were spread across multiple industries and provinces.
The gains in September brought employment back to the same level as in February 2020, just before the onset of the pandemic. The unemployment rate declined for the fourth consecutive month in September, falling -0.2 percentage points to 6.9% — also the lowest rate since the onset of the pandemic. The unemployment rate peaked at 13.7% in May 2020 and has trended downward since, with some short-term increases during the late fall of 2020 and spring of 2021 that coincided with the tightening of public health restrictions.
In the months leading up to the pandemic, the unemployment rate had hovered around historic lows and was 5.7% in February 2020. The adjusted unemployment rate — which includes those who wanted a job but did not look for one — was 8.9% in September, down -0.2 percentage points from one month earlier.
The total number of unemployed people was little changed in September and the decline in the unemployment rate was driven instead by an increase of 139,000 (+0.7%) in the number of Canadians participating in the labor market.
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Labour Force Survey, September 2021