Fewer seeking work but Capital employment recovery has been weakest
Only 12 months ago, this region’s economy was at flood tide. Employment was just shy of 800,000 — a record. The number of people unemployed was less than 37,000 — equating to a near-record low of 4.3 per cent of the labour force. Among Canada’s six biggest metro areas, we were the closest to full employment.
Then, on Dec. 30, a municipal health authority in Wuhan, China warned about the mysterious pneumonia that later became known as COVID-19.
The spread of that illness, along with the economic lockdowns and other measures meant to slow its progress, has revealed much about the makeup of the country’s biggest cities — not to mention the peculiar vulnerabilities of each.
Statistics Canada on Friday offered a snapshot that put the capital region’s job market in relatively good light. The unemployment rate of Ottawa-Gatineau had plunged to 7.1 per cent in November from 8.1 per cent in October. Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton were still coping with double-digit unemployment rates last month while the jobless rate in Montreal and Vancouver was above eight per cent. (These are based on a three-month moving average and adjusted for seasonal influences.)