COVID-19 Special – Report on hirings and dismissals – December 2020

As the holiday season starts, COVID-19 is not running out of steam in Canada. What about the unemployment rate and the state of the job market in the country?

Let us first recall a few figures taken from Statistics Canada data: in February 2020, just before the pandemic hit the Canadian economy head-on, the unemployment rate stood at 5.6% in the country. In May, at the height of containment, it peaked at 13.7%. Lo and behold, in November 2020, it stood at 8.5%, down 0.4 percentage point from October.

Still according to the federal agency, unemployment has even fallen over the past month in most provinces except Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. In Quebec, for example, it went from 7.7% in October 2020 to 7.2% in November.

Slowdown in employment

However, employment growth has slowed down somewhat. In fact, Statistics Canada data shows that the Canadian economy created 62,000 jobs in November, compared to 84,000 in October and 378,000 in September.

That said, employment is slowly gaining ground in the country with an average increase of 2.7% per month. November’s gains are mainly in full-time jobs, with the opening of 99,000 jobs. On the other hand, 37,000 part-time jobs have disappeared.

Note: the employment situation improved somewhat in November among young people aged 15-24, a category of workers hard hit by the pandemic.

Recruitment in the video game industry

Containment has led to a strong demand for the creation of video games. To meet this demand, the video game industry is therefore hiring intensively at the moment. It is no coincidence that the job search site Indeed recently revealed that programmers, computer developers and video game designers positions were among the most advertised positions in the country, along with those of technicians. beneficiaries, nurses and pharmacy technical assistants.

Notice to interested parties: at Behavior Interactif, a Montreal company, 145 positions are to be filled. For its part, Vancouver-based Phoenix Labs expects to create 250 jobs within a year.

Domino effect

Since the start of the pandemic, the restaurant and tourism sectors have been sluggish. As a result, businesses typically serving restaurants, hotels, and public buildings are seeing their bottom line shrink.

This is the case of the Cascades paper company, which announced in November the closure of its Laval plant, which specializes in the manufacture of napkins for this market. Although Cascades promises to relocate the 54 employees affected by this decision, some will not be able to be assigned to other factories.

The COVID-19 pandemic is also rocking the aviation industry. The proof: Toronto Pearson Airport saw its traffic drop 69.5% in 2020 compared to 2019. Of the 50,000 people who usually work there, more than a quarter have been laid off temporarily or permanently.

The arrival of COVID-19 vaccines, however, could give a glimmer of hope to industries that have been sailing in the dark for too long.

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