Public health restrictions were significantly relaxed across Canada and many industries and offices were re-opened at the beginning of September. Thanks to the relaxations that had a positive impact on Employment rates for the month of September.
The employment rate rose in September by 378,000 jobs (+2.1%) following an increase in August of 246,000 jobs (+1.4 percent). The unemployment rate decreased by 1.2 percentage points to 9.0 percent in September, down from a high of 13.7% in May.
September gains have taken full-time jobs to within 720,000 (-3.7%) of its February pre-COVID pace. Housing & food services (-188,000) and retail trade (-146,000) sectors were the furthest from complete recovery, although youth employment was below February levels at 263,000 (-10.3 percent).
For reasons presumably linked to COVID-19, the number of Canadians who were working but worked less than half their normal hours dropped in September by 108,000 (-7.1 %). This left COVID-related absences from work at 605,000 (+74.9%) above February levels, along with the decreases from May to August.
During the reference week of September 13 to 19, the total number of Canadian workers affected by the COVID-19 shutdown stood at 1.3 million. This figure peaked at 5.5 million in April, following a decrease in jobs of 3.0 million and a COVID-related absence from work increased to 2.5 million.
The percentage of Canadians working from home fell from 26.4 to 25.6% from August to September. The largest gains were seen in Ontario and Quebec provinces in the month of September. Employment rates increased in every province except New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
In September, self-employment was little altered. Self-employment was down 6.0 % relative to February, although the number of workers was below 3.3 percent of its pre-pandemic level.
For the fifth consecutive month, jobs among core-aged women between 25 to 54 years of age increased in September (+ 134,000; + 2.3 percent), outpacing core-age men. The growth was divided between full-time and part-time jobs. Employment for this group was the closest of the major demographic groups, within 2.1 percent of pre-COVID employment levels.
In September, employment among core-age males increased by 61,000 (+1.0 percent), driven by full-time gains. This took the core aged males percentage to 2.4% of their pre-COVID level of employment.
Employment growth in September was strong among young women(+62,000 or +5.7%) and men (+66,000 or +6.0 %) aged 15-24.