Canada shed more than 200,000 jobs last month with losses concentrated in industries like retail and hospitality and leisure that are affected by public health restrictions aimed at curbing the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
Employment fell by 207,000 in April, while the unemployment rate rose 0.6 percentage points to 8.1 per cent, Statistics Canada said on Friday. That followed a gain of more than 300,000 in March and missed economists’ expectations for 175,000 jobs lost and a smaller rise in the jobless rate to 7.8 per cent.
The report showed the biggest drops were in retail trade, accommodation and food services, and information, culture and recreation, which shed 84,000, 59,000 and 26,000 jobs respectively. Meanwhile, public administration and finance, insurance and real estate industries added jobs.
Friday’s report also showed the number of Canadians working from home grew by 100,000 to 5.1m.
The blow to the labour force came as public health measures tightened in several provinces in late March and early April ahead of the latest labour force survey. Ontario implemented a provincewide stay-at-home order on April 8, which set capacity limits for many non-essential businesses. British Columbia was under so-called “circuit breaker” restrictions as of March 30, which includes capacity limits on indoor dining and gyms. And Quebec reintroduced stricter measures, including the suspension of various business activities.
Canada’s case count, when adjusted for population, now exceeds that of the US for the first time since the onset of the pandemic. Canadians have been angered by the chaotic government response that has allowed a third wave to take hold and led to a delayed vaccine rollout.
“With the pace of vaccinations set to accelerate, we expect employment to recover over the summer as the economy re-opens although, as the US data today show, that could be a drawn-out process,” said Stephen Brown, economist at Capital Economics.
对劳动力的打击是由于在最新的劳动力调查之前，3月底和4月初几个省收紧了公共卫生措施。安大略省在4月8日实施了全省范围的待业令，对许多非必要的企业设定了产能限制。不列颠哥伦比亚省从3月30日起实行所谓的 "断路器 "限制，其中包括对室内餐饮和健身房的容量限制。而魁北克省重新推出了更严格的措施，包括暂停各种商业活动。
"Capital Economics的经济学家Stephen Brown说："随着接种疫苗的速度加快，我们预计随着经济的重新开放，就业将在夏季恢复，尽管正如美国今天的数据显示，这可能是一个漫长的过程。