Canada Benefits From ‘Lower Base Level’ Effect The ‘real’ GDP of the United States (after inflation) contracted in 2020 versus 2019, compared to -3.5%. The comparative figure for Canada was -5.4%. Canada’s poor performance was primarily due to a faster lockdown of the country and thus staying under tighter restrictions for a longer period than the United States to stave off coronavirus contagion. The decline in employment in the US and Canada between February and April of last year was -13.5% and -15.7%, respectively. But Canada’s retreat was more loaded (that is, it happened between February and March more than it was in the United States). Consequently, Canada is benefiting from a “lower base effect” in calculating the percentage change in jobs year on year sooner than in America. With the strong March labor market report from Statistics Canada, which showed a monthly pay rise of +303,000, Canada is now + 3.9% in total employment year over year. Just one more month of similar job gains (+300,000) would lift Canada’s total employment to a level even with February of last year, before there were any negative effects from the health crisis. Canada’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell in March to 7.5% from 8.2% the previous month. The Unseasonably Adjusted Unemployment (NSA) rate, calculated with the same methodology south of the border, decreased to 6.9% from 7.3% the previous month. Graph 1: Canada: Total employment change per month last data point for March 2021. Data sources: Household Survey, Statistics Canada. Diagram: ConstructConnect. The “return to normal” measure rises to 90% of the important measure of “returning to normalcy” the job recovery rate (also known as the “job recovery” ratio), which measures the degree of employment recovery relative to the big cuts last spring. With the labor market report for March, the Canadian job recovery rate is now a respectable 90.1%. The corresponding figure in the US is still below 60.0%. The recovery in the Canadian manufacturing sector is over 100%, which means employment on production lines is back to where it was before the pandemic. The recovery rate for the public sector is 172.5%, indicating that not only have all government vacancies been refilled, but some additional hires have been well made. (Public sector employment is currently + 7.2% year-over-year.) There remains a big problem, however, in the Accommodation and Food Services sector, which currently has a recovery rate of only 50.3%. . Payrolls in the Canadian construction sector increased by +26,000 in March, pushing the “hard hat” job recovery rate up to 91.6%. (Despite this, annual employment in construction is not something to be enthusiastic about, at -1.6%). Table 1: Monitoring Canada’s Employment Recovery – March 2021 Data Source: Statistics Canada Table: ConstructConnect. Table 2: US and Canadian job markets – March 2021 SA / NSA not seasonally adjusted. The US employment data is taken from the Salary Survey / Canadian employment data is from the Home Survey. The Canadian unemployment rate from the National Security Agency “R3” has been adjusted according to US perceptions (that is, it adopts equivalent methodology to the United States). Data sources: US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and Statistics Canada. Table: ConstructConnect. Graph 2: Canadian Unemployment Rate “R-3” vs. Unseasonably Adjusted US Unemployment Rate (NSA) data (Statistics Canada calculates “R-3” at the same rate as in the US) Latest data points for March, 2021. Data sources (Seasonally adjusted): Statistics Canada and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (Department of Labor) chart: ConstructConnect. Chart 3: Change in Total Employment – Canada vs. US Most recent data points for March 2021. “Y / Y” is the current month / same month of the previous year; “m / m” is the current month versus the previous month. Data sources (seasonally adjusted): Statistics Canada and US Bureau of Labor Statistics (Department of Labor) chart: ConstructConnect. Ontario winner in March; BC the Winner Ontario generally formed a lot of ground on the employment front in March. Of the total of +303,000 jobs in Canada, +182,000 (60%) of them were in Ontario. Yours-to-Discover County now has an 82.9% job recovery rate, which is much better than the 66% it had just a month ago. The charts accompanying the provincial job markets, however, show that there is a candidate ahead of the rest of the group, British Columbia. That county has a recovery rate of 130.8%, which puts it past career recovery and moves to the next job creation phase. From Chart 4, BC ranks first in year-on-year job change, + 6.2%, and is third in the ranking of unemployment rates, from lowest to highest. As a final note, the job market may have taken a hit over the past year, but it’s still a formidable force. The total number of full-time jobs in Canada is + 2.1% per year, but part-time employment is + 12.8%. Table 3: Regional Employment Ratios – March 2021 Data Source: Statistics Canada, Table: ConstructConnect. Graph 4: Canadian Regional Labor Markets – March 2021 Data Source: Statistics Canada Chart: ConstructConnect. Table 4: Canadian Regional Labor Markets – March 2021 Data Source: Statistics Canada Table: ConstructConnect.