Buoyant Canadian jobs numbers come as a surprise

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      Statistics Canada has reported a significant rise in employment in May.

      Throughout the month, 290,000 jobs were added, an increase of 1.8 percent. Three-quarters of those jobs were full-time.

      The number of people working for less than half their usual number of hours fell by 8.6 percent.

      "Combined, these changes in the labour market represented a recovery of 10.6% of the COVID-19-related employment losses and absences recorded in the previous two months," Statistics Canada stated.

      Economists weren't expecting the employment picture to improve so quickly after the number of new COVID-19 cases peaked in several provinces.

      In March, just over one million jobs were lost. That was followed by another two million lost jobs in April.

      Despite the increase in the number of people working May, the unemployment rate still jumped to 13.7 percent from 13 percent in April. That's due to an increase in the number of people, including college and university students, looking for work.

      Statistics Canada

      In B.C, there were 43,000 new jobs in May. The unemployment rate rose 1.9 percentage points to 13.4 percent.

      The first phase of B.C.'s restart plan began on May 6, followed by a second phase on May 19.

      "Almost all of the employment increase in the province was in the services-producing sector (+41,000), led by accommodation and food services (+12,000), educational services (+12,000), and wholesale and retail trade (+12,000)," Statistics Canada reported.