--- Statistics Canada reports lowest unemployment rate for Gatineau since March
Statistics Canada reported a 7 per cent unemployment rate for Gatineau in December, the lowest it has been since the beginning of the pandemic. While unemployment remains higher than the 5.8 per cent rate recorded in March, it has steadily declined since its record high of 11 per cent in May and June.
The national unemployment rate stands at 8.6 per cent, which means Gatineau is doing slightly better than the national average. In total, Canada recorded 18.5 million jobs in December, about a 0.3 per cent decrease from job numbers in November.
The Labour Force Survey released by Statistics Canada on January 8, notes that Canada’s employment and hours worked fell in December for the first time since April. The other troubling number reported in December, includes a decline in the workforce participation rate for the second month in a row, falling 0.2 per cent to 64.9 per cent.
Employment in Quebec has not changed for the third consecutive month, which holds the lowest unemployment rate in Canada at 6.7 per cent. Statistics Canada attributes this low unemployment rate to less Quebecers looking for work, thanks to a declining participation rate among workers. The province saw employment increases in the professional, scientific and technical services. But Quebec saw fewer workers in health care and social assistance jobs, according to the survey.
The sector that continues to have the greatest decline in employment is the services sector. Statistics Canada blames the close proximity of service jobs as the main source of problems for employment. While other sectors can adjust their workforces to work from home, the services sector only has 3 per cent of its workers working remotely compared to 64.6 per cent of workers in the finance sector working from home. Statistics Canada says remote working has trended upward again since October, after a decline from its peak in April.
Employment recovery for youth (aged 15 to 24 years) continues to have its challenges in December. Male youth showed an 8.8 per cent decline in employment and female youth reported a 12.1 per cent decline compared to their pre-pandemic levels in February 2020.