For the first time since April, the Canadian economy lost 63,000 jobs in December, but economists are optimistic about a 2021 recovery.
The December 2020 Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey posted today shows the first net loss of jobs for the Canadian economy since April. In December, the Canadian economy lost 63,000 jobs, essentially nullifying the gains of 62,000 jobs made in November.
December 2020 Labour Force Survey Results
Part-time employment declined by 99,000 (-2.9%) in December but an increase in full-time employment offset these loses to result in a net loss of 63,000 jobs. The unemployment rate remains relatively unchanged, increasing by only 0.1% to 8.6%.
Employment in the services-producing sector fell by 74,000 (-0.5%) in December—the first decline in the sector since April. The losses were especially acute in the accommodation and food services industries.
The Canadian manufacturing industry did post an increase of 15,000 (+0.9%) jobs, a sign that not all sectors of the Canadian economy are suffering under stricter lockdown measures.
New lockdown measures threaten Canada’s Economic Recovery
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, several provinces are introducing additional public health measures. Most strikingly in Quebec, where a province-wide curfew is being imposed on Jan. 9th to help curb the spike in infections and ease pressure on the healthcare system.
Additional public health measures will continue to batter the already hard-hit accommodation and service sectors who are still adapting to international travel restrictions.
Immigrating to Canada in the age of COVID-19
Canada is still accepting applications for both temporary and permanent residence. Schools can receive international students and workers can enter Canada if the job they are coming to do is still available. International students, some permanent residents, and temporary workers are exempt from travel restrictions but must have the results of a negative COVID-19 test, taken within 72 hours of their departure.
Canada has a bold plan to welcome 1.2 million newcomers over the next three years, with 401,000 in 2021 alone. Whether that will be possible, given the shortfalls of 2020, is yet to be seen. The speed at which the vaccine rollout occurs and how well new public health measures work to curb the rising spike in COVID-19 infections will heavily influence if Canada will be able to meet the 2021 immigration targets set forth for the year.