Canadian jobless rate continues to drop


The Canadian unemployment rate fell to 10.2 percent in August from July’s 10.9 percent with the addition of 246,000 jobs, Statistics Canada said Friday.

August’s number brings the four-month total of new jobs to almost 2 million since May. But because of the plunge in March and April, Canada still has 1.1 million fewer paid workers than it did in February before the COVID-19 outbreak.

Statistics Canada said that the unemployment rate in August would have been 13 percent had it included people who wanted a job but did not look for work. By mid-August, public health restrictions substantially eased across Canada and more businesses and workplaces had re-opened.

The number of Canadians who were employed but worked less than half their usual hours for reasons likely related to COVID-19 decreased 259,000 in August. Combined with declines in May, June and July, this left coronavirus-related absences from work at 713,000 above February levels.

As of the week of Aug. 9-15, the total number of Canadian workers affected by the COVID-19 economic shutdown stood at 1.8 million.

In April, this number reached a peak of 5.5 million, including a drop of 3 million in employment and a 2.5 million-increase in COVID-19-related absences from work.

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