The economy saw a second consecutive month of better-than-expected job growth in June as many businesses began to reopen, at least partially, in areas where pandemic-related restrictions began to ease.
According to the June Labour Force Survey Report from Statistics Canada, employers expanded payrolls by 952,900 jobs last month and the number of Canadians who were employed but worked less than half their usual hours for reasons likely related to COVID-19 dropped by 823,000.
The retail trade industry led job growth, adding 196,400 jobs. These sectors also saw strong growth in June:
- Accommodation and food services: 182,900 jobs added
- Construction: 140,700 jobs added
- Transportation and warehousing: 57,000 jobs added
Unemployment rate dials down to 12.3%
The national unemployment rate declined to 12.3% in June, a drop of 1.4 percentage points from a record-high of 13.7% in May with employment rising by nearly one million in June (+952,900; +5.8%). Gains were split between full-time work (+488,000 or +3.5%) and part-time work (+465,000 or +17.9%) and with these two consecutive increases, employment in June was 1.8 million (-9.2%) lower than in February.
What employers need to know
Even in this uncertain time, retention of your most valued employees should be a high priority. Consider that 60% of the workers we surveyed said they are more motivated to be employed at an organization that values its staff during unpredictable times. And keep in mind that employers well outside of your immediate area may be vying for your best people, now that remote work has taken hold.
To boost your retention efforts, consider applying these and other best practices outlined in Robert Half’s 10 Lessons for Managing Your Staff in the COVID-19 Era:
- Pay top performers well. The pandemic has not changed that fact that your business needs to meet or exceed what other firms pay their employees for similar work.
- Focus on employee wellness. Offer resources, like wellness webinars, to help employees cope with uncertainty, manage change and stress, and focus on their health.
- Be flexible. To the extent possible, give employees flexibility so they can work when they are most productive and engaged, and manage their personal demands, too.
The investment you make now in employee retention can benefit your business when recovery becomes more robust, and companies start to ramp up their hiring.
What job seekers need to know
In a recent Robert Half survey, 47% of office professionals said they have experienced a shift in their feelings toward work due to the pandemic. Some respondents reported that they are seeking more meaningful work, while others said they want to prioritize their personal life.
No matter your reason for launching a new job search right now, your prospects might be better than you think — provided you have the right qualifications for the roles you’re targeting. Employers are hiring for many types of positions and if you’re open to working remotely for companies outside of your local area, you may be able to find more opportunities.
You may want to consider working with a specialized staffing firm like Robert Half to help guide your job search in this challenging environment. Our recruiters often have knowledge of available positions before they are advertised. And if you’re a passive job seeker, you can be confident that they’ll handle your search with great care.
Our staffing professionals are well-versed in placing remote workers. They can also connect you with temporary and contract opportunities that match your abilities. These arrangements can help you learn new skills and start a new chapter in your career — at a comfortable pace. And working in project or part-time roles may even lead you to a full-time position.