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Canada/Canadian-Media: Canada had seen a downtrend in its economy by losing 63,000 jobs last month, the first time the job market contracted since the dark days of March and April, when COVID-19 was just starting, Statistics Canada reported today.
Statistics Canada. Image credit: statcan.gc.ca
It's also the first drop since April, said Statistics Canada, making economic recovery difficult.
About 636,000 fewer people in Canada with a job than there were in February.
It was noted by the Bank of Montreal economist Doug Porter 2020 will now officially go down as the worst year for Canadian jobs since 1982.
All of the lost jobs in December were in the service sector, with the food and accommodation sector with 56,700 lost jobs, due to so many restaurants having been shuttered.
"With restrictions broadening and lengthening since the December survey, we may well see another pullback in next month's report," Porter said. "But the good news, such as it is, is that Shutdown 2 is imposing a much less severe economic cost than in the spring, especially in sectors not directly affected."
Economist Brendon Bernard with job-search website Indeed said while the numbers were certainly bleak, they are not the worst-case scenario.
"If there's a silver lining, it's that things could've been worse," he said. "December's drop was nowhere near the scale of the declines we saw last spring, and some areas of the economy, like manufacturing and professional services, still achieved solid gains."
"Nonetheless, it's clear once again that the job market can't recover amid a raging pandemic."
Canadian Chamber of Commerce's Leah Nord's main concern was dropping of the participation rate — the number of working age people who either have a job or want one — by 64.9 percent.
The drop "mostly comprised of male youth and working women, likely frustrated by the job search and staying home to take care of suddenly homebound children, respectively,"
If that trend continues, that's a bad omen for the job market from here on out, Nord said.
"As we look forward, we believe that many of the rebound gains of the last seven months are at risk of being lost, signaling a potential return to darker times for Canada's labor market over the coming months."