Less bad is the new good when it comes to job numbers
Alberta had recovered about 33 per cent of the jobs lost between February and April by the June survey compared to 41 per cent for Canada as a whole
By ATB Economics 13 July 2020 1 min read
The main takeaway from the Labour Force Survey results released on Friday is the number of jobs in Alberta increased in June by 91,600, but we were still 241,100 below where we were in February.
The same story played out across Canada with every province recording an increase in employment in June, but not nearly enough to make up for the jobs lost as a result of the pandemic and oil price crash.
Alberta had recovered about 33 per cent of the jobs lost between February and April by the June survey compared to 41 per cent for Canada as a whole. At 29 per cent, only Ontario made up less ground than we did. In absolute terms, Ontario was still down 778,600 jobs in June compared to the pre-shock level set in February.
A second key takeaway is that the recovery has varied greatly across industries.
As of June, Alberta’s health care and social assistance sector (which includes dentists, chiropractors, physical therapists, optometrists and many other professional practices that were closed during the pandemic) had recovered 77 per cent of the jobs it lost between February and April. It was 53 per cent in the information, culture and recreation sector, 48 per cent in the construction sector, 46 per cent in the wholesale and retail sector, and just 25 per cent in the accommodation and food services sector.
In fact, seven sectors lost even more ground in June, including oil and gas (down another 1 per cent in June compared to May), manufacturing (-3 per cent), and professional, scientific and technical services (-3 per cent).
In absolute terms, the accommodation and food services sector was down the most in June compared to February at -59,700 jobs followed by the wholesale and retail sector at -41,800 jobs.
Finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing and business, building and other support services were the only two major sectors to post higher levels of employment in June than they did in February.