Canada's jobless rate down to 12.3 percent in June

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The depths of the pandemic in March and April saw 5.5 million Canadians affected: three million from lost jobs and 2.5 million absences from work.

"B.C.'s June unemployment rate is down 0.4 per cent since May at 13.0 per cent".

Gains were made in all provinces, including Ontario, where 378,000 jobs were filled, pushing the jobless rate down by 1.4 percentage points to 12.2 per cent. Canadian employment bounced back by a further 952,900 jobs in June, compared with a consensus estimate of roughly a 700,000 advance.

The unemployment rate in Prince George as well as B.C. and Canada all saw slight improvements last month.

By the week of June 14 to June 20, the number of workers affected by the COVID-19 economic shutdown was 3.1 million, a reduction since April of 43 per cent.

Statistics Canada noted that the increase in labour force participation was not equal in men and women, with men seeing greater gains in the participation rate.

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Despite the strong advances of the past two months, the level of employment in Canada is still about 9% below what it was in February, the data agency said.

Statistics Canada also observed employment among core-aged workers with children grew substantially faster for fathers compared to mothers. Despite positive signs, James says thousands of people and businesses are still struggling, and net job losses since the start of the pandemic stand at 235,000.

The underutilization rate - which counts those who are unemployed, those who want a job but didn't look for one, and those working less than half their usual hours - was 28.3 for women and 25.5 per cent for men.

After holding steady in May, the number of Canadians on temporary layoffs dropped 29.1 percent in June, and that figure should keep dropping, it added.

Even with the increase in jobs in June, StatCan said there were nearly 44,000 fewer people working in Saskatchewan than the same period a year ago.

BMO Capital Markets chief economist Doug Porter said the June jobs report represents a solid step forward, but future labor market advances may be less dramatic.

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