Sudbury still losing 1,400 jobs

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The COVID-infected economy in Sudbury continues to cut jobs.Statistics Canada said on Friday that the Sudbury region had lost 1,400 jobs in June and that its unemployment rate had increased to 9.4%, compared to 8.4% in May.

The agency said Sudbury had registered 76,000 jobs in May, but that number dropped to 74,600 last month.

In addition, the region’s workforce has shrunk: 83,000 people were employed or looking for work in May. This number dropped to 82,200 in June.

Greater Sudbury lost 3,400 jobs in May and more than 10,000 since February, according to Statistics Canada figures.

And while the city’s largest employers, such as Vale, Glencore and Health Sciences North, continued to operate, the service sector was hit hard after the economic downturn to slow the spread of COVID-19 .

The province has started to lift some of these restrictions, but the job market – at least in Sudbury – has yet to rebound.

Not nationally: Canada created a record 952,900 jobs in June thanks to a surge in the service sector, with restaurants, stores and businesses reopening after the coronavirus shutdown, although its unemployment rate was slightly worse than expected at 12.3%.

Statistics Canada said on Friday that the country had recovered some 1.2 million of the 3 million jobs lost between February and April, as non-essential businesses in the country were closed to curb the epidemic of coronavirus.

Analysts in a Reuters poll predicted 700,000 more jobs and 12% unemployment.

“It’s a pleasant surprise at a high level. This is a big step in the right direction, “said Doug Porter, chief economist at BMO Capital Markets, about job creation.

Yet just over a quarter of the potential workforce was underutilized in June, which is notably above pre-pandemic levels, said StatsCan.

The Canadian dollar remained almost unchanged at 1.3589 per US dollar, or 73.59 US cents.

Last week, the United States also posted record job increases in June when it reopened, but a resurgence of COVID-19 could cause the job market to decline in July.

Employment in the Canadian goods-producing sector increased by 158,600, while the service sector gained a record number of 794,400 jobs, split fairly evenly between full-time and part-time.

Economists did not expect the record increase in employment to prompt the Bank of Canada to cut its key rate three times in March to 0.25%.

“They will always be careful about the consequences of the initial stage V (of the recovery). This reflects a rapid acceleration in the reopening of economies, ”said Derek Holt, head of Capital Markets Economics at Scotiabank.

Figures for June did not take into account people who temporarily lost their jobs due to the coronavirus crisis and who want to work, but who are not currently looking for work, said Statscan. If they had been counted, the unemployment rate would have been 16.3%.

Despite the good news, economist Jim Stanford said there remains an historic labor market crisis with high unemployment and hundreds of thousands of people who have completely left the workforce.

In addition, gains at the national level were not shared equally among groups, with women, youth and low-wage workers being even slower to rebound, which Stanford said could be problematic if these jobs never come back.

“I am worried about a second wave of layoffs to come, motivated not by health restrictions, but by companies deciding that their activities will be permanently smaller. So it would be qualitatively different and worse, “said Stanford, director of the Center for Future Work in Vancouver.

“We haven’t come out of the woods yet from a distance, but it was a really encouraging step forward. ”

About three million jobs were lost in March and April due to the pandemic, and 2.5 million more were cut in hours and earnings. Last month, some 3.1 million people were affected by the pandemic, including 1.4 million who were not at work due to COVID-19.

Brendon Bernard, economist at Indeed Canada, said that finding jobs at the same rate over the next few months will be more difficult.

“Many sectors of the economy are still not operating at full capacity,” said Bernard. “So while the doors can be opened and customers can enter, business has not returned to normal.”

The overall job losses were unprecedented in speed and depth compared to previous recessions, said Statistics Canada, and the rebound to date more pronounced than previous downturns.

Ottawa’s response was equally unprecedented: a deficit of at least $ 343.2 billion in this fiscal year when the Trudeau Liberals distributed some $ 230 billion in emergency assistance.

In June, 28.3% of Canadians aged 15 to 69 reported receiving some form of federal assistance since mid-March, according to Statistics Canada. At the same time, the proportion of households who reported having difficulty paying bills fell to 20.1% in June, from 22.5% in May.

“Without the federal government there to support Canadian workers, Canadian businesses and Canada’s provinces and territories, we would be in greater trouble in this country at this time,” said Hassan Yussuff, President of the Labor Congress from Canada in an interview this week. .

The Bank of Canada and the federal government believe that the worst of the economic suffering caused by the pandemic is behind the country, but Canada will face high unemployment and slow growth until 2021.

– with files from the Canadian Press

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Twitter: @SudburyStar

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