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Canada loses jobs in April amid COVID spike

Last Updated May 7, 2021 at 7:12 am PDT

FILE - Statistics Canada building and signs are pictured in Ottawa on Wednesday, July 3, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Canada lost 207,000 jobs in April, according to Statistics Canada

Unemployment rate rose to 8.1 per cent in April

Loss of jobs across Canada in April came as new COVID-19 restrictions were brought in, including lockdowns in some areas

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – Canada’s job market took a hit in April, with employment falling by 207,000 last month, according to Statistics Canada.

The agency says the unemployment rate rose 0.6 percentage points to 8.1 per cent.

The loss in jobs came as the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic took hold across Canada, and governments imposed new restrictions, including lockdowns in some areas.

Both full-time and part-time employment saw declines, with Statistics Canada saying the number of employed people in April working less than half their usual hours increased by 288,000, or 27.2 per cent.

“The number of Canadians working from home grew by 100,000 to 5.1 million,” the agency adds.

When it comes to the sectors most affected by April lockdowns, Statistics Canada says retail trade came out on top, losing about 84,000 jobs. Accommodation and food services, and information, culture, and recreation followed.

“Employment in British Columbia declined by 43,000 (-1.6%) — the first decrease since substantial employment losses in March and April 2020,” Statistics Canada notes, adding employment increased in Saskatchewan and New Brunswick.

It says there was little change in other provinces.

Meanwhile, losses of employment in young people aged 15 to 24 fell 4.2 per cent in April, with the majority in Ontario and B.C.

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