Canada’s Labour Market Returns To Pre-Pandemic Levels

Canada has now regained all of the three million jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The country’s economy added 157,100 jobs in September, bringing the labour market back to pre-pandemic levels, according to Statistics Canada.

September’s job gains were more than double the 60,000 new jobs expected by economists who were surveyed by Bloomberg Markets.

The unemployment rate in Canada fell to 6.9% from 7.1% in August. Hours worked were up 1.1% in the month but remain 1.5% below their pre-pandemic level.

The Canadian dollar rose to $1.2494 U.S. on news of the latest jobs report, its highest level since August 5. Bonds sold off, with the two-year benchmark yield at 0.651 per cent, the highest level since March 2020.

The robust numbers are a welcome sign for the nation’s economy. They suggest that companies are willing and able to hire workers as virus restrictions ease and as high vaccination rates boost optimism among consumers and businesses.

The strong labour report also reinforces the expectation that the Bank of Canada will taper its weekly purchases of Canadian government bonds to $1 billion later this month from the current pace of $2 billion, effectively halting the expansion of its balance sheet.

Canada’s September job gains were driven entirely by full-time workers while part-time employment fell slightly. The increases were led by the public administration, information culture and recreation sectors. Around 139,000 people entered the labor force in September, bringing the participation rate to 65.5%, also the highest level since before the pandemic.