Canadian employment fell by 68,000 jobs in May (-0.4%, m/m), led by a decline of 54,000 in the number of part-time jobs. This was the second consecutive month of declines amid third-wave restrictions, following a drop of 207,000 jobs in April. The level of Canadian employment is now 3.0% (-571k) below its February 2020 pre-pandemic level. The decline was driven by Nova Scotia and Ontario, which implemented stay-at-home orders last month. The unemployment rate rose 0.1% to 8.2%.

In BC, employment fell by 1,900 (-0.1% m/m), following a decline of 43,100 in April. Despite the slight drop in employment, the unemployment rate also fell slightly from 7.1% to 7.0%, due to a decrease in the labour force participation rate (from 65.1% to 64.9%). Job losses slowed in May due to the reopening of many indoor and outdoor activities on May 25th across the province.