Business

Canada adds jobs, unemployment falls to 7.5% despite 3rd wave of COVID-19

Canada created jobs in sectors hard hit by the pandemic in March, but the numbers would not have included full impact of recent lockdowns.

Statistics Canada reports economy created 303,000 jobs in March, including in retail and food services

Recovering job numbers may take a hit after recent shutdowns

5 months ago
1:53
New job numbers show the economy has been picking up, with more than 300,000 jobs added in March. But the most recent wave of shutdowns is threatening all those gains. 1:53

Despite a third wave of COVID-19, Canada's unemployment rate fell to a post-pandemic low of 7.5 per cent in March as the economy added 303,000 jobs, Statistics Canada said this morning.

That compares to a gain of 259,000 jobs in February, when the unemployment rate was 8.2 per cent.

Canada's statistical agency said the economy added jobs even in some of the areas hit hardest by the pandemic, including retail, accommodation and food services. There were also gains in health care, construction and education.

In spite of the steady gains, the March increase means 296,000 fewer people are employed in the Canadian economy compared to February 2020, before COVID-19 began to bite into employment. In other words, Canadian unemployment is still about 1.5 per cent above pre-COVID levels.

The impact of a new round of shutdowns does not appear in the March data, which was collected by the statistical agency in the middle of the month.

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