OTTAWA, Canada: Canada lost more jobs than expected in May as Covid lockdowns continued.
Economists, however, anticipate large scale hirings in June, as the lockdowns end.
Statistics Canada reported that some 68,000 jobs were lost in May, even as analysts had predicted a loss of 20,000 jobs.
Also, the unemployment rate increased to 8.2 percent, which had been expected. Overall employment is now 3 percent below pre-pandemic levels, officials said.
"I am hopeful that this is the last down-print we have before we release a fury of hiring activity starting in June," said Derek Holt, vice president of Capital Market Economics at Scotiabank.
As Covid infections fall and increasing numbers of Canadians receive vaccinations, Canadian provinces are easing restrictions. Canada reports that 60 percent of all adults have received a first dose of the Covid vaccination, and some 6 percent are fully vaccinated.
Officials believe that pent-up demand among the public will result in a surge of hiring in the months to come.
"With households sitting on an exceptionally large stockpile of savings built up during the pandemic, that recovery could accelerate relatively quickly over the summer," said Nathan Janzen, senior economist at RBC, in a note.
Canadian employment figures indicated that part- and full-time employment fell in May, and for the first time since April 2020 jobs were lost in the goods sector.
Also, long-term unemployment held steady, while the participation rate for women in the work force fell for the second consecutive month in May.