Payroll Figures on the Rise: StatsCan

The economy appeared in July to be on the way up, at least with respect to folks drawing pay for their employment situations, according to figures released Tuesday by Statistics Canada.

The agency reported payroll employment—that is to say, the number of employees receiving pay or benefits from their employer—increased by 324,800, or 2%, in July, the largest monthly increase since September 2020.

But the economy still has some ground to make up to get back to pre-pandemic levels, according to the agency; compared with February 2020, payroll employment was down by 427,800, or 2.5%, in July 2021.

In June, following the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, most jurisdictions began to substantially ease public health restrictions affecting indoor and outdoor dining, recreation and cultural activities, retail shopping, and personal care services. By July, this easing was largely complete in most jurisdictions.

StatsCan concludes that payroll employment was up in nine provinces in July, with Ontario (+183,800; +3.0%) and Alberta (+46,300; +2.4%) seeing the largest increases. Despite these monthly gains, payroll employment remained further from its pre-COVID February 2020 level in Ontario (-255,300; -3.8%) and Alberta (-63,300; -3.2%) than in all other provinces. New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island were the lone provinces where payroll employment had surpassed its pre-COVID payroll employment level.