Canada’s unemployment rate was 8.2 per cent in May, little changed from the 8.1 per cent in April , according to Stats Canada. (File photo)

Canada’s unemployment rate was 8.2 per cent in May, little changed from the 8.1 per cent in April , according to Stats Canada. (File photo)

Economy lost 68,000 jobs in May, unemployment rate 8.2%, Statistics Canada says

More people simply got discouraged and gave up looking for work

Statistics Canada says the economy lost 68,000 jobs in May as lockdowns to slow the spread of COVID-19 continued.

The losses marked the second consecutive month of declines after 207,000 jobs were lost in April.

The unemployment rate was 8.2 per cent in May, little changed from the 8.1 per cent in April because the number of unemployed people in Canada overall stayed relatively steady.

What changed is that more people dropped out of the labour force in May, including workers who simply got discouraged and gave up looking for work.

The statistics office says there were 49,700 discouraged job-searchers last month, or 9.3 per cent, those who wanted work but did not look for work, more than twice the average of 22,000 seen in 2019.

Friday’s data release also notes that 28,000 more core-aged women, those between age 25 and 54, didn’t look for work in May as third wave restrictions continued in Ontario and other regions of the country.

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate would have been 10.7 per cent in May had it included in calculations those people who wanted to work but didn’t search for a job.

May’s job losses put the country about 571,100 jobs, or three per cent, below pre-pandemic levels seen in February 2020.

But the actual gap may be larger once adjusting for population growth during the pandemic, which would put the labour market about 763,000 jobs, or 3.9 per cent below the February 2020 levels.

Statistics Canada says employment in goods-producing sectors dropped for the first time since April 2020, including in manufacturing that saw a decline of 36,000 jobs in May.

Despite the losses, economists expect things will improve over the coming months as provinces are set to loosen restrictions and reopen economic activity like after the second wave of the pandemic, says TD senior economist Sri Thanabalasingam.

“Except this time the acceleration in the vaccine rollout may provide employers with added confidence, thereby boosting hiring intentions,” he writes in a note.

But he adds that fewer people in the job market could mean the country faces labour shortages just as demand for workers is set to recover.

—The Canadian Press

RELATED: Canadian economy lost 207,000 jobs in April, unemployment rate rises

RELATED: B.C.’s latest COVID-19 restrictions cost thousands of service jobs

Employment

Just Posted

(Contributed)
Collision slows rush hour traffic in Kelowna

Expect delays at K.L.O. Road and Richter Street on your commute Tuesday evening

A conceptual render of the proposed building at 955 Manhattan Drive. (Contributed)
Height not wanted on Kelowna’s Manhattan Drive

City staff said proposed five-storey building poses challenges

A for sale sign is shown in by new homes in Beckwith, Ont., just outside Ottawa, on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Thompson-Okanagan population grew despite COVID-19: report

The Chartered Professional Accountants of BC said there are 8,462 new residents in the region

Kelowna General Hospital. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna General Hospital declared over

Three people tested positive for the virus — two patients and one staff — one of whom died

A crash at the intersection of Harvey Avenue and Leckie Road on June 15. (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News)
Traffic stalled by Harvey Avenue crash in Kelowna

One lane is open as crews clean up after crash at Harvey Avenue and Leckie Road

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Facebook)
New trial date set for Penticton beach attacker’s triple assault charges

May trial was delayed after Crown witnesses failed to show up

Orange ribbons are tied to the fence outside Vernon’s Gateway Homeless Shelter on 33rd Street. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
POLL: Low-key Canada Day in the works for Vernon

Councillor calling for Indigenous recognition for 2022

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A conceptual design of Vernon’s new Active Living Centre, which will go to referendum Oct. 15, 2022. (Rendering)
Active living centre 2022 referendum planned in Vernon

City hoping to get Coldstream and Areas B and C back on board

Closure of the 2900 block of 30th Avenue will allow restaurants and other businesses to extend their patios onto the street. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Green light given to downtown Vernon road closure

Single block of 30th Avenue to close over summer months to boost business

Graduating Grade 12 student Savannah Lamb has been awarded an approximate $40,000 scholarship from the Beedie Luminaries foundation. (Contributed)
Dedicated Salmon Arm student earns scholarship to pursue post-secondary education

Savannah Lamb is graduating from Salmon Arm Secondary with a $40,000 scholarship

Travel Penticton went to city council for support in increasing the tax on short-term stays to fund a convention bureau and affordable housing. (File photo)
Travel Penticton seeks to grow through increased hotel tax

The increased funds would go to creating a convention bureau and to affordable housing

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

Most Read