Ontario sees increase in jobs as COVID measures ease

Bulk of the new positions — 92,200 — were in part-time work

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Ontario saw a 100,000-plus increase in jobs last month after an end to full lockdown measures, Statistic Canada’s Labour Force Survey (LFS) reported Friday.

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“Following two months of losses, employment in Ontario rose by 117,000 in June, as strict public health measures began to ease,” the LFS says. “Employment gains were mostly among youth and in part-time work.

“The largest increase was in retail trade, while gains also occurred in professional, scientific and technical services as well as accommodation and food services.”

The unemployment rate fell to 8.4% although Ontario still remains below pre-pandemic employment levels.

The bulk of the new jobs — 92,200 — were in part-time work and the remaining 24,700 positions were full-time.

Toronto, one of the regions in the province that remained longest in lockdown, added 90,000 new jobs, which the LFS points out is the first increase in overall employment since March.

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Sectors that lost jobs in June were agriculture, transportation and warehousing, as well as, in particular, finance, insurance, real estate and leasing, which shed 17,600 positions.

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Ontario entered Step One of its Roadmap to Reopen on June 11, although it had begun easing some restrictions on outdoor activities prior to that date.

Step One allowed outdoor patio dining at restaurants for up to four people at a table and the reopening of non-essential retail with a capacity limit of 15%.

The province moved to Step Two on June 30. The LFS results for July won’t be available until August.

aartuso@postmedia.com

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