The Saskatoon CMA lost 600 jobs in June, with labour market recovery falling to 87.3% of jobs that were lost during March and April 2020. This is down from 89.1% recovery in May 2021. The unemployment rate improved slightly, at 7.3% compared to 7.4% in May, as a result of fewer jobs being lost than the number of people leaving the labour force. With both the labour force and participation rates falling this month, it remains to be seen whether these departures reflect short-term or long-term choices.
Saskatchewan lost 6,500 jobs in June, following May’s recovery of 4,100 jobs. 3,400 full-time jobs were lost, while part-time positions decreased by 3,000. The majority of the province’s employment losses this month came in the services-producing sector, primarily from wholesale and retail trade (-3,200); business, building and other support services (-900); and professional, scientific and technical services (-800). In the goods-producing sectors, employment fell in all areas except for utilities (+1,000), with agriculture (-2,400) and manufacturing (-1,800) experiencing the largest declines. The unemployment rate, however, trended lower to 6.7% from 6.3% as a result of falling labour force participation rates.
Economists are still predicting a strong rebound in the second half of 2021 as Canada reopens. Business sentiment reached a record high in Q2, according to BDC, with news of pandemic restrictions being lifted across Canada. Economic output and employment are expected to fully recover from pandemic losses before the end of this year.
Canada may also be facing a labour shortage. A mismatch between demand and supply was visible in the spring, and its prominence is growing. According to BlueSky Personnel Solutions, a recruitment agency, this trend will continue. Similarly, Ceridian, a global talent acquisition firm, has noted increased labour shortages in the United States and expects a comparable situation in Canada as the pandemic continues to recede and workers re-evaluate their career options.