Canada’s unemployment rate was 8.2 per cent in May, little changed from the 8.1 per cent in April , according to Stats Canada. (File photo)

Canada’s unemployment rate was 8.2 per cent in May, little changed from the 8.1 per cent in April , according to Stats Canada. (File photo)

Economy lost 68,000 jobs in May, unemployment rate 8.2%, Statistics Canada says

More people simply got discouraged and gave up looking for work

Statistics Canada says the economy lost 68,000 jobs in May as lockdowns to slow the spread of COVID-19 continued.

The losses marked the second consecutive month of declines after 207,000 jobs were lost in April.

The unemployment rate was 8.2 per cent in May, little changed from the 8.1 per cent in April because the number of unemployed people in Canada overall stayed relatively steady.

What changed is that more people dropped out of the labour force in May, including workers who simply got discouraged and gave up looking for work.

The statistics office says there were 49,700 discouraged job-searchers last month, or 9.3 per cent, those who wanted work but did not look for work, more than twice the average of 22,000 seen in 2019.

Friday’s data release also notes that 28,000 more core-aged women, those between age 25 and 54, didn’t look for work in May as third wave restrictions continued in Ontario and other regions of the country.

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate would have been 10.7 per cent in May had it included in calculations those people who wanted to work but didn’t search for a job.

May’s job losses put the country about 571,100 jobs, or three per cent, below pre-pandemic levels seen in February 2020.

But the actual gap may be larger once adjusting for population growth during the pandemic, which would put the labour market about 763,000 jobs, or 3.9 per cent below the February 2020 levels.

Statistics Canada says employment in goods-producing sectors dropped for the first time since April 2020, including in manufacturing that saw a decline of 36,000 jobs in May.

Despite the losses, economists expect things will improve over the coming months as provinces are set to loosen restrictions and reopen economic activity like after the second wave of the pandemic, says TD senior economist Sri Thanabalasingam.

“Except this time the acceleration in the vaccine rollout may provide employers with added confidence, thereby boosting hiring intentions,” he writes in a note.

But he adds that fewer people in the job market could mean the country faces labour shortages just as demand for workers is set to recover.

—The Canadian Press

RELATED: Canadian economy lost 207,000 jobs in April, unemployment rate rises

RELATED: B.C.’s latest COVID-19 restrictions cost thousands of service jobs

Employment

Just Posted

Department of Oceans and Fisheries has announced as of July 19 chinook salmon is not to be fished in certain areas in BC tidal waters until July. Spring chinook salmon are seen swimming. (Photo courtesy Michael Humling, US Fish & Wildlife Service)
Chinook Salmon limits set to zero in some BC tidal waters

DFO implement restrictions to protect Chinook Salmon

Richard Green and Alex Campbell stand in solemn reflection of the survivors and victims of the residential school system on May 30, in Prince Rupert National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21 is a time to reflect on the sacrifices and honour the contributions made by First Nations, Inuit and Metis of Canada. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Prince Rupert Reflecting on National Indigenous Peoples Day

June 21 is to celebrate the contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Metis to Canada’s culture

Mark Perry in concert at the old Driftwood School (Marty Clemens photo)
Mark Perry releases new single ahead of Northwest album.

“Golden Spruce” tells the story of a forester who cut down an old-growth Sitka Spruce on Haida Gwaii

Five rehabilitated grizzly bears were released this month into the Bella Coola area. The Northern Lights Wildlife Society will also be delivering 36 black bears to areas across the province where they were previously found. “They’re ready to go and they’re already trying to get out,” says Angelika Langen. “We feel good when we can make that possible and they don’t have to stay behind fences for the rest of their lives.” (Northern Lights Wildlife Society Facebook photo)
Suspected methamphetamine and scale seized by police. (Terrace RCMP photo)
Terrace RCMP seize guns, ammo, suspected narcotics

Man released after court appearance

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Most Read