Employment levels drop as Canada introduces new restrictions


The third wave of the coronavirus pandemic has dropped employment considerably, producing 207,000 job losses.

Employment levels are dropping in Canada due to the third wave of coronavirus and related health measures to combat it. In April 2021, Canada’s unemployment rate rose to over 8%, as jobs dropped by 207,000 people. Statistics Canada published its report after looking closely at last week’s conditions in the job market. Because of the sharp increase in COVID-19 cases across the region, Canadian provinces were enacting tighter health measures. In Ontario, authorities implemented a stay-at-home order. In Quebec, cities and municipalities are imposing Curfews at 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Meanwhile, in British Columbia, officials decided to close restaurants and bars for indoor dining.

The number of people working less than half of their normal hours also increased by 288,000, and the number of people working from home increased by 100,000, bringing the total number of people working from home to about 5 million. While the situation seems critical, we must remember data shows the country’s economic recovery to be underway.

Recovery for who? Lingering job losses for immigrants and minorities due to restrictions

Let’s have a closer look at how unemployment affects recent immigrants, in particular. Generally, immigrants perform better than Canadian-born workers in the job market. That’s because, on average, immigrants are young, well-educated, and less picky when it comes to job opportunities. Nonetheless, the pandemic has severely impacted job opportunities, as well as labor conditions for immigrants. Another report by Statics Canada highlights this phenomenon.

Retail trade, lodging, and food services, and information, culture, and leisure accounted for the majority of the job losses in the private sector. Health restrictions have a major impact on employment in these three sectors. With the tightening and loosening of restrictions, job numbers begin to rise or fall depending on the severity of new measures. The situation is particularly harsh on visible minorities when compared to the majority white population. In April, the unemployment rate for visible minorities rose half a percentage point to nearly 10%. The unemployment rate for white Canadians did not rise significantly, remaining at 8%. However, the unemployment rate among Southeast Asian Canadians has risen to nearly 14%. It has also risen to more than 6% among Filipino Canadians.