February was a solid month for job growth in Canada and Ontario. While we gained over 250,000 jobs nationally, Ontario gained 100,000 jobs. Over 20,000 youth jobs were created in Ontario, and over 40,000 of the jobs were gained by women. COVID-19 cost Ontario 1.1 million jobs from its onset in early March to the beginning of recovery in May. Over the last 9 months of recovery, Ontario has recovered 829,000 jobs. As Tembo has reported, another big piece of positive economic news is that almost 30,000 MORE people work in manufacturing in Ontario than they did before the onset of COVID – it’s not just real estate that’s resilient in these parts.
Ontario’s unemployment rate is now 9.2%, a bit higher than the national average, but well below its COVID peak of some 14%. Most sectors saw gains, from accommodation, to utilities, to retail trade and food services. Many more urban areas gained jobs than lost them, and rural Ontario overall has generally fared well compared to urban centers. throughout the pandemic. Ottawa and London saw the most gains at +13,000 and +4,000 respectively. It’s important to note that London’s economy has consistently created jobs month over month for nine months, underpinning that region’s resilience and attractiveness. The cities that did worse were Toronto, which lost almost 40,000 jobs (shutdowns), and St. Catharines/Niagara (dependent on tourism). Quebec did even better than Ontario, gaining over 113,000 jobs. Jobs were gained in British Columbia, Alberta, and Manitoba. Newfoundland saw some modest declines.
All of these figures are available on StatsCan. As long as cases don’t skyrocket and lockdowns aren’t implemented again, it is likely that these positive economic trends will continue, and that recovery will accelerate – fingers crossed!