Canada Economy adds 303,000 jobs in March, unemployment rate falls, Statistics Canada says
COVID protocol-related absences: 03/31/21
Each day, the NHL will publicly release the list of players that are unavailable to their respective teams due to being in COVID-19 Protocol. Here is the list for today: © Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Anaheim – Alexander VolkovBoston – Jake DeBruskFlorida – TBALos Angeles – Brendan LemieuxMinnesota – Zach PariseMontreal – Joel Armia, Eric StaalNY Rangers – Brett Howden Vancouver – Adam GaudetteAs a reminder, inclusion on this list does not mean that a player has tested positive for Coronavirus or even that they have been confirmed as a close contact to another positive person.
OTTAWA — Canada's economy added more than 300,000 jobs in March, once again outpacing expectations and putting the labour market on track to recoup all that was lost one year ago even before a federal budget rolls out with its promise of billions in stimulus spending.
In all, Statistics Canada said the economy added 303,000 jobs in March as restrictions rolled back, paving the way for more workers to return to high-touch sectors hardest hit by public health restrictions.
Retail gained 95,000 jobs to fully recoup losses sustained in January lockdowns, while employment jumped 21,000 in the accommodation and food services sector.
NHL postpones Wednesday's Calgary-Vancouver game
The NHL has decided to ere on the side of caution as a result of Adam Gaudette’s positive COVID-19 test. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports (Twitter link) that tonight’s game between the Canucks and Flames has been postponed. TSN’s Frank Seravalli tweets that the decision was made after more information has surfaced regarding Vancouver’s test results; that information obviously has not yet been made public.
Notable gains were also seen in health care, construction and educational services. That last gain was partially a result of Ontario, which led employment gains overall, moving its March break for schools to next week in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The March increase puts overall employment 296,000 shy of the pre-COVID level in February 2020, a gap of 1.5 per cent. The unemployment rate was 7.5 per cent, down from 8.2 per cent in February, hauling the rate to a pandemic-era low.
Statistics Canada said the unemployment rate would have been 9.7 per cent in March had it included in calculations Canadians who wanted to work but didn't search for a job.
With March's gains, there are now as many sectors with employment above February 2020 levels as those still below, wrote BMO chief economist Douglas Porter, adding that total employment outside of hotels and restaurants was at an all-time high.
NHL postpones Canucks' next three games due to COVID
The NHL has postponed three more games for the Vancouver Canucks, shutting them down through April 6 after Travis Hamonic was added to the COVID protocol on Thursday. Hamonic joined Adam Gaudette, who has tested positive for coronavirus and a member of the team’s coaching staff. © Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports The NHL has shut down the Canucks through April 6. The league is hoping that the Canucks will be able to play on April 8 against the Calgary Flames, but games against the Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets in the coming days will have to be pushed. All practices have also been canceled for the time being.
However, the momentum won't carry into April as restrictions tighten, just as has happened throughout the pandemic, said Brendon Bernard, an economist with job-posting site Indeed.
"It's going to continue as long as the pandemic is with us," he said.
"It all goes back to the vaccine — getting the crisis under control. That's what it takes for this recovery to really be on track firmly and not fall off the rails."
Closing the remaining gap by year's end, as the parliamentary budget officer suggested is possible, won't be as small or simple a task as the 1.5-per-cent gap suggests, said Mikal Skuterud, a labour economist from the University of Waterloo.
The gap is made up of workers who are in the hardest hit sectors and will have the longest road to recovery. Food services, for instance, still sits 24.4 per cent, or 298,000 jobs, below pre-pandemic levels — the widest gap of any sector.
The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Wednesday, April 7, 2021
The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 7:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. There are 1,028,041 confirmed cases in Canada. _ Canada: 1,028,041 confirmed cases (62,136 active, 942,732 resolved, 23,173 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers. There were 7,148 new cases Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 163.49 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 45,931 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 6,562. There were 32 new reported deaths Wednesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 214 new reported deaths.
Skuterud said for all the economic policy that could be rolled out, the labour market rests on managing the health crisis: "It's entirely a race between the vaccine … and the virus."
Back in the fall, the Liberals promised to create one million jobs, and the prime minister said Friday that the April 19 budget would outline plans to create more jobs.
The government needs to rethink how much to spend from a promised $70 billion to $100 billion in stimulus over three years, and what to spend it on in light of the improved labour market and economy, said Robert Asselin, senior vice-president policy at the Business Council of Canada.
"If you don't build productive capacity … then you really are not solving much," said Asselin, a former budget adviser to the Liberals
"If they are focusing on really short-term stuff, that's this year or next year just to boost demand in the economy, I think, if anything, it will just create more problems than it will solve."
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday he wanted to meet one-on-one with opposition party leaders early next week to talk about the budget, which if not approved could topple the minority government and plunge the country into a federal election.
The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Thursday, April 8, 2021
The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 7:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 8, 2021. There are 1,036,023 confirmed cases in Canada. _ Canada: 1,036,023 confirmed cases (64,291 active, 948,521 resolved, 23,211 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers. There were 7,984 new cases Thursday. The rate of active cases is 169.16 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 48,108 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 6,873. There were 38 new reported deaths Thursday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 209 new reported deaths.
On the job numbers for March, Trudeau called them encouraging, but said there are still Canadians who are jobless or working reduced hours.
Statistics Canada said the number of people unemployed, despite sharp reductions over February and March stood at 1.5 million, or 371,000 more than the February 2020 level.
As well, the number of long-term unemployed, meaning they have been out of work for six months or more, was 286,000 above pre-pandemic levels, or almost 160 per cent more than in February 2020.
Hassan Yussuff, president of the Canadian Labour Council, said he expected the government to outline a skills-training plan in the budget to help workers find jobs, and others who may be displaced in the coming years.
"There is going to be continuous need for us to have a resilient workforce in this country that can adapt to changes happening in the economy," he said, pointing to energy workers who would be affected by the Liberals' promise to green the economy.
"The only way that's going to happen is if you give people opportunity to keep renewing, and improving their skills on a continuous basis."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 9, 2021.
Jordan Press, The Canadian Press
The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Friday, April 16, 2021 .
The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday, April 16, 2021. There are 1,106,062 confirmed cases in Canada. _ Canada: 1,106,062 confirmed cases (85,319 active, 997,202 resolved, 23,541 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers. There were 9,338 new cases Friday. The rate of active cases is 224.49 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 60,785 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 8,684. There were 41 new reported deaths Friday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 292 new reported deaths.