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 below 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.