Shoppers collect items from a pick-up area at Eaton Centre shopping mall. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Shoppers collect items from a pick-up area at Eaton Centre shopping mall. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Canadian economy lost 207,000 jobs in April, unemployment rate rises

The losses in April nearly wiped out the 303,000 jobs added in March

Economy lost 207,000 jobs in April, unemployment rate rises, Statistics Canada says

Statistics Canada says the economy lost 207,000 jobs in April as a new rise in COVID-19 cases led to renewed public health restrictions that closed businesses.

The unemployment rate rose to 8.1 per cent from 7.5 per cent in March.

Statistics Canada says the number of employed people in April working less than half their usual hours increased by 288,000 or 27.2 per cent.

The losses in April nearly wiped out the 303,000 jobs added in March when the economy outpaced expectations and put the country about 503,100 jobs, or 2.6 per cent below pre-pandemic levels.

More losses were seen in full-time work than part-time work, with the figures respectively at 129,000 and 78,000, with the retail sector and young workers hit hardest.

Total hours worked fell 2.7 per cent, that TD senior economist Sri Thanabalasingam said could indicate a reversal in the overall economic recovery in April.

The ranks of the long-term unemployed climbed to 486,000 as about 21,000 more workers crossed the threshold of being without a job for six months or more.

Among them are 312,000 workers who have been unemployed for a year, having lost jobs during the plunge in the labour market during the first wave of the pandemic when three million jobs were lost over March and April 2020.

Prior to the pandemic, there were only 99,000 workers who had been unemployed for at least a year, the statistics agency noted.

Regionally, Ontario saw a drop of 153,000 positions in April, and British Columbia witnessed its first decrease in employment since a historic plunge in the labour market in April 2020.

Statistics Canada said the unemployment rate would have been 10.5 per cent in March had it included in calculations Canadians who wanted to work but didn’t search for a job.

The latest setback in the labour market will carry a longer-term impact on the workers and businesses affected, said Leah Nord, senior director of workforce strategies with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Some companies may close for good, and workers may take longer to find new positions, she said.

“Our collective focus is currently on the light at the end of the vaccine tunnel, but we risk losing sight of the continued turbulence in the labour market — and what that means for the Canadians bearing the brunt of it,” she said in a statement.

Lockdowns and tight restrictions have continued into this month and could mean more losses show up when Statistics Canada reveals May’s jobs report, said CIBC senior economist Royce Mendes.

“The good news,” he writes in a note, “is that the curve is bending in some regions of the country and vaccinations are picking up pace, both of which should help the labour market begin to recover in June.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

economy

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Kimberley residents were treated to the first Farmers' Market of the season, and the feeling of a return to normalcy. Paul Rodgers photos.
WATCH: Kimberley’s first Farmers’ Market of the season

Kimberley residents enjoyed the first Farmers’ Market of the year on Thursday,… Continue reading

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Most Read