According to the February Labour Force Survey Report from Statistics Canada, employment increased by 259,200 in February while the unemployment rate fell to 8.2%, the lowest rate since March 2020.
This month’s report reflects labour market conditions during the week of February 14 to 20 with the public health restrictions put in place in late December eased in many provinces in early February.
With that, employment in accommodation and food services (+7.8%) returned to its December level, while the number of people working in retail trade increased by 6.1% to recover more than three-quarters of January losses. Employment in educational services also increased by 2.1% (+29,000).
After hovering around pre-COVID levels since September, employment rose to a level 3.7% (+51,000) higher than a year earlier. At the national level, employment increases in the industry were driven by professional occupations in education, including teachers (not seasonally adjusted).
Although employment was little changed in professional, technical, and scientific services in February, the number of people working in the industry was 5.6% higher than a year earlier (+86,000), the largest year-over-year increase across all industries. To note, the professional, scientific, and technical services industry includes many businesses that can operate remotely, such as legal, accounting, and advertising services, as well as information technology
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