The COVID-19 pandemic does not appear to be running out of steam at home. Against this backdrop, here’s how the Canadian job market is doing as the cold season looms on the horizon.

The number of the month: 84,000. That’s the number of jobs the Canadian economy added in October, up from 378,000 in September, Statistics Canada notes. The federal agency attributes the lower gains to the various restrictions provinces have enacted to stem the spread of COVID-19. Measures which would explain, among other things, the loss of 48,000 jobs in accommodation and food services, particularly in Quebec (-42,000).

Nevertheless, overall, employment increased in five provinces (Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island) and remained unchanged in the others.

Unemployment rate stable, but rising long-term unemployed

Despite this slowdown, the Canadian unemployment rate was little changed. It fell only 0.1 percentage point in October, to 8.9%.

Same scenario in the provinces: while it fell by 0.4 percentage point in British Columbia (8.0%) and by 0.3 percentage point in New Brunswick (10.1%), it increased by 0.3 percentage point in Quebec (7.7%) and by 0.8 percentage point in Nova Scotia (8.7%).

Even more worrying: a quarter of unemployed Canadians have been unemployed for six months or more, pushing the number of long-term unemployed from 79,000 in September to 151,000 in October.

Sectors in free fall

Among the sectors that continue to experience serious difficulties as a result of COVID-19: the aviation industry. More than 4,000 jobs have soared since the start of the pandemic, many at large companies such as Bombardier and Pratt & Whitney.

Accommodation and food services are not doing much better. Nationally, these sectors have 236,000 fewer jobs than in February 2020 (pre-pandemic level). In fact, in Quebec City, two-thirds of hotel workers are no longer employed.

Employees wanted !

However, other sectors and industries are recruiting. For example, in Ontario, the health care community is seeking to remedy a shortage of 6,000 care workers. Same scenario in Manitoba, where the government has asked the public to help it fill many health care positions, such as nurses, care aides, dietitians, social workers, physiotherapists and nutritionists.

In Quebec, companies in the food and transportation sectors are in the midst of the hiring process, including Les Aliments CELL, Aliments LUDA, Capcium and Fastfrate. For its part, the ready-to-cook company Cook it recruits regularly. The proof: since the start of the first wave, its number of employees has increased from 200 to 700!

Latest articles by