Ottawa: Canada’s unemployment rate rose to 5.4 per cent in August for the first time in seven months, Statistics Canada has said.
The unemployment rate, up 0.5 percentage points from the record low of 4.9 per cent observed in June and July, was the first increase not coinciding with a tightening of public health restrictions since May 2020, when the unemployment rate reached its pandemic peak, Xinhua news agency cited the national statistical agency as saying.
The unemployment rate increased for four of the six main demographic groups in August, including young men aged 15 to 24, women aged 55 and older, core-aged men, and core-aged women. It was little changed among young women and older men, the agency said.
The adjusted unemployment rate, which includes people who wanted a job but did not look for one, rose 0.5 percentage points to 7.3 per cent in August. This increase was largely due to the rise in the number of unemployed, rather than an increase in those who were outside the labour force but wanted work, according to the agency.
Long-term unemployment, the number of people who had been continuously unemployed for 27 weeks or more, rose by 22,000, or 13.7 per cent in August, offsetting a similar size decline in July. Long-term unemployment expressed as a proportion of the total labour force was 0.9 per cent in August, the same as its February 2020 pre-pandemic level, the agency said.
The unemployment rate of very recent immigrants has a particular impact on labour market conditions in Canada’s largest cities, which attract a disproportionate share of new arrivals. In both the Toronto and Montreal economic regions, the unemployment rate surpassed the national average in August, said Statistics Canada.