In recent weeks, the Quebec economy has been gradually recovering. Is the return to work reflected in the statistics?
According to the results of Statistics Canada’s Labor Force Survey released on July 10, the answer is yes. In fact, after an increase in employment of 231,000 in May, Quebec experienced an increase of 247,500 in June, bringing the current level closer to that prevailing in February. The unemployment rate is said to have fallen by 3.0 percentage points, now standing at 10.7%. In total, nearly a million new jobs were created in Canada, dropping the unemployment rate from 13.7% to 12.3% from coast to coast.
Rebound and recovery
That said, the Bank of Canada predicts that the Canadian economy will experience its worst setback this year since the Great Depression. It also anticipates that after the strong rebound attributable to the gradual resumption of activities, its key rate will stagnate at the current level (0.25%), until the effects of the pandemic wear off. Moreover, these effects are expected to be felt longer in the accommodation, tourism and catering sectors.
Creation and loss of jobs
Thus, the scenarios will differ depending on the sector: permanent closure for some companies, slowdown or increase in activities for others. For example, in June, Cirque du Soleil took refuge from its creditors and permanently sacked more than 3,000 employees. For its part, Loto-Québec temporarily laid off 2,250 employees, or about 50% of its operating employees in casinos and gaming halls. The situation is quite different at Purolator, which has created more than 1,100 new mail and sorter positions to meet the 30% increase in door-to-door deliveries and 120% in online retail sales.
Women more affected than men
That’s not all: the pandemic is affecting women more, according to a new Royal Bank study. Their participation in the labor force would even be at its lowest level in 30 years! This can be explained in particular by the fact that women work in the sectors most affected by the crisis. In addition, for often family reasons (for example, childcare), they are less likely than men to seek other employment. Therefore, they would represent about 45% of the decrease in hours worked, but only 35% of the recovery.