The unemployment rate has begun to decline in Quebec

Le taux de chômage a commencé à reculer au Québec

Photo: Renaud Philippe The Duty
Construction workers residential recasts a roof in Montreal. The construction sector has generated 58 000 jobs, during the week of 10 to 16 may.

The unemployment rate fell from 17% to 13.7% in may to Quebec, to the favor of the beginning of the déconfinement of its economy.

The creation of a little over 230,000 jobs has helped to erase almost 30 % of the approximately 820 000 jobs were lost in march and April, reported Friday by Statistics Canada. Measured during the week from 10 to 16 may, the largest gains were observed in the sectors whose activities have benefited from a relaxation by the government of restrictions adopted to slow the progression of the pandemic coronavirus, including those in the construction (+58 000), manufacturing (+56 000), as well as in shops (+54 000), with the exception of the greater Montreal area. The metropolitan area it is despite all well-drawn, with a gain of almost 100 000 jobs. The proportion of people in employment who worked less than half of their normal working hours for reasons related to the COVID-19 has also declined slightly, from 26% to 19 %.

This rebound in Quebec has been at the origin of almost 80 % of the total employment growth observed in Canada in the month of may (+290 000). But as an even larger number of workers returned to look for a job, the unemployment rate has continued to increase, from 13 % to 13.7 % in may, which would be a summit in 75 years according to experts.

When one adds the people who want to work but have not sought employment, Statistics Canada arrive at an “adjusted unemployment rate” of 19.6 %. And if we add again the persons in employment who worked less than half of their usual hours, one arrives at a rate of under-utilization of the workforce to 35 %. Best reflection of reality, according to several observers, the total hours worked in the country rose from 6.3% in may, but after a decline of almost 30 % in the two months before.

This suggests that the worst is behind us and the slow recovery began in may

— Benoit P. Durocher

The most affected

The last hit and the first to bounce back, the goods sectors, such as construction and manufacturing, have a total of hours worked is equivalent, respectively, to two-thirds and three-quarters of the levels that they were still in the month of February, while that, particularly proven, of the accommodation and the restore still worked, last month, more than a third of this capacity.

Reflection of the composition of these sectors in the economy, men have recovered a greater proportion (14 %) of the jobs lost in march and April than women (5.4 per cent). Disproportionately hit by the crisis, with 38 % of job losses compared to an overall average of 13 %, workers earning less than $ 16 per hour have benefited from a little more than the other of the relaxation of the rules of containment in the sectors of retail trade, and accommodation and restaurants, but still far from the account.

Young people also appear to be affected. In the beginning of the period of the summer jobs, the unemployment rate among students pursuing their studies exceeded, last month, the 40 %, against 25 % for young non-students.


The dashboard on the evolution of the coronavirus in Quebec, in Canada and in the world

The beginning of a long path

Many analysts have declared pleasantly surprised by the portrait of the employment in Canada unveiled on Friday. “This suggests that the worst is behind us and that a slow recovery has begun in may,” commented Benoit P. Durocher of the Desjardins group. However, the walk is high and the full recovery will take several months “, he warned.

His colleagues of the National Bank, Matthieu Arseneau and Kyle Dahms, cannot so well say. “Even if containment measures are for the most part lifted, it must be borne in mind that more than one-fifth of the jobs are concentrated in sectors of hospitality and catering, arts and leisure, and retail, which face significant challenges. “

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