Canada jobless rate rises to 8.2% in May

Unemployment in Canada edged up to 8.2 percent in May 2021, the government statistics agency said
Unemployment in Canada edged up to 8.2 percent in May 2021, the government statistics agency said Nicholas KAMM AFP
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Ottawa (AFP)

Canada's unemployment rate edged up to 8.2 percent in May as strict measures to contain a third wave of Covid-19 cases caused job losses, Statistics Canada said Friday.

The jobless rate in March was 7.5 percent -- the lowest since the start of the pandemic -- but the economy lost 207,000 jobs in April and another 68,000 last month.

The May figure was three times larger than many economists had forecast, but experts predict a rebound in the job market in June as several Canadian provinces have started to roll back coronavirus-related restrictions.

The 8.2 percent unemployment rate in May was 0.1 percentage point higher than in April.

The job losses last month mostly hit part-time workers and were concentrated in the provinces of Ontario, the country's most populous, and Nova Scotia. Both had imposed new measures to combat the spread of the virus.

Employment in manufacturing fell by 36,000 jobs in May, the first such decline since April of last year, Statistics Canada said.

Most of the job losses were in the private sector.

The number of Canadians working from home was stable in May at 5.1 million, the agency said.