As we head back to school and as the shadow of a second wave of COVID-19 hangs over the country, the economy continues to recover. Here’s how it looks for the job market in September, with numbers to back it up.
Some 246,000 jobs were created last month, according to Statistics Canada’s most recent Labor Force Survey conducted in the week of August 9 to 15. After gains of 419,000 jobs in July, this is a positive result for a fourth consecutive month since the start of the pandemic, even if 1.1 million jobs are still missing to return to the levels observed in February 2020.
The report also indicates a decline in the country’s unemployment rate: it now stands at 10.2%, 0.7 percentage point lower than in July.
Same scenario in Quebec: the unemployment rate fell 0.8 percentage point to 8.7%. In addition, some 54,200 jobs were created in August in the Belle Province. Interestingly, these are mostly full-time positions.
Sectors in search of workers
No one will be surprised: the pandemic continues to exacerbate the shortage of workers in the health sector. Not only is there a shortage of patient attendants, nurses and respiratory therapists, but also workers for food services, laundry and sanitation tasks, not to mention specialists related to rehabilitation and the psychosocial aspect, such as physiotherapists, psychologists and social workers. In fact, the Saguenay – Lac-Saint-Jean Integrated University Health and Social Services Center (CIUSSS) alone has close to 100 positions currently available.
The manufacturing sector is also in search of labor.
The situation at the Canadel furniture factory is a good example. Order books are exploding and at least 50 additional workers would be needed to meet demand. Explanation? Many Quebec households have decided to spend their travel budget on residential development projects. Likewise, the government’s incentive to buy locally produced goods is starting to bear fruit.
Finally, faced with the imminence of a second wave, no less than 250 expert disinfection agent positions have been created at Qualinet. Objective: to meet growing demand, whether in hospitals, long-term care centers or offices.
Retail in distress
Despite everything, nothing is going well in the retail sector. Since the inception of the state of health emergency in March, several Quebec and Canadian companies have had to seek shelter from their creditors, including Aldo, Reitmans, SAIL, Davids Tea, Tristan and Lolë. And it is not over: it is now the turn of Montreal chains Ernest, specializing in men’s clothing, and Dyamite, also behind the Garage banner, to experience financial difficulties. It is not yet clear whether the restructuring will lead to store closings and job losses.