PEI

Unemployment rate on P.E.I. dives to 2nd lowest rate in Canada

The unemployment rate on P.E.I. fell two full percentage points in January, dropping it well below the national average, which rose, and second only to Saskatchewan.

Number of jobs up, number of people in the workforce down

The hospitality sector showed some recovery in January with the lifting of public health restrictions. (Wayne Thibodeau/CBC)

The unemployment rate on P.E.I. fell two full percentage points in January, dropping it well below the national average, which rose, and second only to Saskatchewan.

The P.E.I. rate fell from 9.9 per cent to 7.9 per cent. Nationally the rate rose 0.6 to 9.4 per cent.

The rate was down due to both strong growth in jobs and large numbers of people leaving the labour force.

Generally, job numbers have been growing since September, apart from a dip in December. That appears to have been connected to circuit breaker public health restrictions. Hundreds of jobs in hospitality disappeared. That sector showed recovery in January as those restrictions eased.

Seasonally adjusted, the provincial economy has added 2,300 jobs since September.

Following a crash in the spring, the number of people in the workforce has been more up and down. For the last two months it has been on a downward trend.

P.E.I. does not compare favourably with the rest of the country in terms of attracting people back into the workforce during the pandemic.

Nationally, the workforce was about the same last month as it was in January 2020, but the workforce on P.E.I. was down four per cent, the largest drop in the country.

More from CBC P.E.I.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kevin Yarr is the early morning web journalist at CBC P.E.I. You can reach him at kevin.yarr@cbc.ca.

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