Employment in Canada returns to pre-pandemic level in September

However, Statistics Canada says that there are some "notable differences"

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      There were 157,000 new jobs in Canada in September, according to Statistics Canada.

      The national unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage points to 6.9 percent.

      "Increases in employment were concentrated in full-time work, and among people in the core working age group of 25 to 54," Statistics Canada reported today.

      About 78,000 of those new jobs were in the public sector. Another 98,000 were in the private sector.

      This means that overall employment has returned to where it was in February 2020 before the pandemic was declared by the World Health Organization.

      But with a growing population, the unemployment rate is still 0.9 percent higher than where it stood in February 2020. And there were still 218,000 Canadians who were working less than half their usual hours in September compared to February 2020.

      "In September 2021, 4.1 million Canadians who worked at least half their usual hours worked from home, a number similar to the level recorded in September 2020," Statistics Canada reported. "Over the same period, the number of workers who worked at a location other than home rose by 1 million to 13.2 million."

      The largest increase in employment in September was in the service sector, which recorded 142,000  new jobs. The largest number in that category came in public administration (37,000), followed by culture and recreation (33,000), and professional, scientific, and technical services (more than 30,000).

      However, the number of jobs in accommodation and food services fell 27,000 in September as the fourth wave of COVID-19 gathered momentum in several provinces.

      Inflation remains a concern

      Meanwhile, rising energy, housing, and food prices are elevating worries about inflation.

      In August, inflation reached 4.1 percent, the highest it's been in 18 years. That was up from 3.7 percent in July, according to Statistics Canada.

      In a public appearance on October 7, Bank of Canada governor Tiff Macklem acknowledged that inflation could be a longer-lasting concern.

      He made the admission following a speech (see below).

      "The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has strengthened its surveillance, enhanced its financing facilities and developed a framework to guide the use of capital controls," Macklem said in his speech. "Many EMEs have strengthened their policy frameworks, including the wider use of inflation targeting and greater exchange rate flexibility."

      Video: Watch Bank of Canada governor Tiff Macklem's speech on October 7.