Regional Labour Market Report Card
July 09, 2021 | 11:04
It's Upward from Here
Canadian employment struggled with another wave of the pandemic in 2021Q2, with employment falling by 44k (March-to-June). The subdued overall change hides some big swings within the quarter, including a 231k rebound in June. The stage is now set for a smoother job recovery through the second half of the year, with total employment down 1.8% from pre-COVID levels.
The regional picture was mixed in Q2, with the timing of pandemic-related shutdowns and reopening driving the relative results.
Ontario posted the steepest decline, with employment down 67k in the quarter, but the province also saw a hefty 117k gain upon partial reopening in June.
Quebec's earlier reopening allowed a 51k job gain in the quarter to lead the country.
British Columbia is the lone province where employment is now above pre-COVID levels, thanks in part to lighter restrictions throughout.
Results at the city level are very mixed. The large urban centres generally rank in the upper-middle of the pack, but should stand to benefit most through the second half of the year. Smaller cities that top the ranking could reflect work-from-home shifts (e.g., if you've moved to Peterborough or Abbotsford, you're employed there, even if the employer is based in Toronto or Vancouver).