ECONOMIC WATCH: Canada, U.S. employment numbers improved in May

OTTAWA, Ont. - Canada added 290,000 jobs in May as the economy gradually reopened following the Covid-19-related economic shutdown.

(Source: Statistics Canada)

May employment numbers represented a recovery of 10.6% of Covid-19-related employment losses and absences seen over the previous two months, according to a Statistics Canada labor update June 5. However, the unemployment rate set a new record high at 13.7%. From February to April, the total number of unemployed Canadians more than doubled.

The employment picture, however, varied widely by sector and province. Quebec accounted for nearly 80% of May's employment gains, with employment up 6.5%. In Ontario, employment declined in May but at a slower pace.

It was the only province in which employment continued to fall in May, shedding 65,000 jobs compared to 689,000 in April. Employed Canadians also reported being less concerned about job security in May.

(Source: Stastics Canada)

U.S. jobs numbers rebound

The jobs picture in the U.S. was even more upbeat. Total non-farm payroll employment surged by 2.5 million in May, with unemployment there dropping to 13.3% - a drop of 1.4% - according to the U.S.

Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, employment in transportation and warehousing dropped by 19,000, on the heels of an April decline of 553,000. Air transportation lead the job losses, shedding 50,000 positions in May.

Employment among couriers and messengers climbed 12,000 in May.

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