Canada’s economy lost 207,000 jobs in April as a new round of lockdowns were implemented in an effort to contain the third wave of the pandemic.
Statistics Canada reported Friday that 129,000 full-time jobs were lost, along with an additional 78,000 part-time positions.
The jobless rate rose to 8.1 per cent from 7.5 per cent in March.
Although economists were expecting jobs to be lost in the month, the actual numbers were worse than the 175,000 losses previously expected.
According to the StatCan April job report, employment declined in both full-time (-129,000; -0.8%) and part-time (-78,000; -2.3%) work. The number of employed people working less than half their usual hours increased by 288,000 (+27.2%).
The number of Canadians working from home grew by 100,000 to 5.1 million, the agency said.
Total hours worked fell 2.7% in April, driven by declines in educational services, accommodation and food services, as well as retail trade.
The labour underutilization rate, which captures the full range of people who are available and want to work, rose 2.3 percentage points to 17.0% in April.
The number of Canadians unemployed for 27 weeks or more increased to 486,000.
According to StatCan, almost half of the job losses were young workers, those between 15 and 24 years old. Employment in this age group fell by 101,000 (-4.2%) in April, with losses concentrated in Ontario and British Columbia.
Not surprisingly, most of the job losses were in hard-hit sectors like retail (-84,000), food services (-59,000) and information, culture and recreation (-26,000).
Accommodation and food services accounted for more than two-thirds (70.9%) of the overall employment gap (-503,000) compared with February 2020.
Following gains over the previous two months, employment in Ontario fell 153,000 (-2.1%) in April.
Among 15- to 69-year-olds, the unemployment rate for population groups designated as visible minorities increased 0.5 percentage points to 9.9% in April. In contrast, the unemployment rate among Canadians who were not Indigenous or a visible minority was little changed at 7.6% (not adjusted for seasonality).
In April, the unemployment rate increased among both Southeast Asian Canadians (+4.1 percentage points to 13.6%) and Filipino Canadians (+1.4 percentage points to 6.3%), two groups where the proportion of workers employed in accommodation and food services is above the national average.