According to the January Labour Force Survey Report from Statistics Canada, employment declined by 212,800 (-1.2%) in January while the unemployment rate rose 0.6 percentage points to 9.4%, the highest rate since August 2020.
This month’s report reflects labour market conditions as of the week of January 10 to 16 with several provinces extending public health measures in response to increasing COVID-19 cases. In Ontario, restrictions already in place for many regions of southern Ontario – including the closure of non-essential retail businesses – were extended to the rest of the province effective December 26.
In Quebec, non-essential retail businesses were closed effective December 25 and a curfew implemented on January 14 further affected the operating hours of some businesses. Existing public health measures continued in Alberta and Manitoba and restrictions were eased between the December and January reference weeks in Prince Edward Island with the closure of in-person dining and recreational and cultural facilities lifted on December 18 and restrictions on in-person dining eased in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and the surrounding area, on January 4.
Employment falls in industries directly affected by new public health measures
In the goods-producing sector, employment in construction rose by 39,000 (+2.8%) in January, driven by gains in Quebec and Alberta.
Following two months of little change, the number of people working in health care and social assistance increased (+19,000; +0.7%), bringing employment in the sector back to its pre-COVID level.
Stay up to date on the latest hiring trends
The Demand for Skilled Talent from Robert Half offers insight into how staffing and management strategies are changing in 2021. You’ll get details on hiring trends and top positions – plus, you’ll gain tips on how to support your staff members during challenging times.
You can check out all the data here on the Robert Half website