For several weeks now, the Quebec economy has been recovering. Is the return to work reflected in the statistics? Which sectors of the economy are doing the best? And which ones are still recording losses?
According to data from the results of Statistics Canada’s Labor Force Survey (LFS) covering the period July 12-18, 2020, the economy is slowly but surely recovering at home. That said, the repercussions of the pandemic are still being felt. While COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease, businesses to reopen and the unemployment rate to decline, job recovery is far from won.
Where are unemployment and employment?
More specifically, the unemployment rate in Quebec would have fallen by 1.2 percentage points in July, to stand at 9.5%, according to the LFS. The province is also said to have regained 70.2% of the jobs lost in March and April. Despite everything, it still has 244,500 fewer jobs than before the crisis.
Canada would display a similar scenario: despite a gain of 1.2 million jobs, the country would have regained only 40% of the 3 million jobs lost from February to April.
Resumption and hiring
Slowly or not, some sectors are picking up steam. Data from recruitment site Indeed Canada indicates that vacancies have increased particularly for positions in the transport and administrative support fields, registering an increase of about 25% from the beginning of May. Jobs in construction, loading and storage are said to have jumped 35% over the same period. The recovery would however concern lower paid and part-time jobs.
In other sectors, such as education and health, the crisis has reportedly exacerbated the labor shortage. In fact, in Montreal, there are 500 teaching positions to be filled, while 60,000 health and social services positions are vacant throughout Quebec.
Still in slow motion
Other sectors are struggling to cope, especially those where it is difficult, if not impossible, to implement teleworking and social distancing. This is particularly the case in the aviation, hospitality, arts and catering sectors.
For example, even though the entertainment industry has shown signs of recovery since July, employment is still 23% below what it was before COVID-19. The latest EPA also reveals a shortfall of more than 300,000 restaurant jobs compared to February.
For all these reasons, Oxford Economics predicts that Canada will return to its pre-pandemic employment level only in 2022 … if there is no second wave, of course.
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