July jobs numbers expected to show gains as COVID-19 restrictions eased

Statistics Canada will reveal this morning how the labour market fared in July as restrictions meant to quell the COVID-19 pandemic were rolled back in many provinces.

The country added 230,700 jobs in June after losing 68,000 in May and 207,000 in April as lockdowns continued in many regions.

The number of part-time positions returned to pre-pandemic levels in June after rising by 263,900, but the number of full-time jobs fell by 33,200.

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Economists expect the July numbers to show an increase in overall employment for the month, but warned some challenges may lie beneath the headline numbers.

CIBC senior economist Royce Mendes says July likely delivered job creation in industries hit hardest by COVID-19 restrictions as the economy opened up, but the month’s figures may also show some evidence of labour shortages akin to what the U.S. experienced during its reopening.

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BMO Capital Markets economists are predicting the bulk of job gains will come in the hospitality sector, where employment was still down in June by 21.5 per cent or 260,000 jobs from pre-pandemic levels.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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