Canada's unemployment rate edged up to 8.6 per cent in December from 8.5 per cent in November.
"We are also seeing disproportionate impacts on people of colour who are both business owners and employees", said Ravi Kahlon, B.C.'s minister of jobs, economy, recovery and innovation, in a news release. A loss of jobs in the Covid-battered restaurant industry has been a factor in the setback for the United States labour market. The country has recovered 56 per cent of its pandemic job losses, while Canada has recouped just shy of 80 per cent.
The near-term outlook is rough.
The December data, the last of President Donald Trump's time in office, marks the end of a year of violent swings in the labour market.
"Today's report shows the USA economy is flirting with disaster", said Josh Lipsky, an economics expert at the Atlantic Council think tank.More news: David Warner ruled out of opening Test against India
The share of Canadians working from home was 28.6 per cent in December. Part-time employment dropped by almost 100,000 last month, with young people aged 15 to 24 bearing the brunt of damage. Self-employment fell by 62,000 to its lowest point since February.
As expected, close-contact service industries are suffering greatly.
The BLS report noted that employment in leisure and hospitality declined by 498,000, with three-quarters of the decrease in food services and drinking places, by 372,000, Xinhua news agency reported.
"There could still be another leg down", MUFG Union Bank's chief financial economist Chris Rupkey said in an interview with CNBC.
Statscan also pointed to continuing struggles for racialized groups.More news: Clippers’ injury report: Paul George, Marcus Morris questionable vs the Warriors
The economy is believed to have expanded at around a 5% annualized rate in the fourth quarter, with the bulk of the rise in gross domestic product seen coming from inventory investment.
"Obviously we saw that employment numbers were hit pretty hard in November and December but nevertheless we do predict Manitoba will fare significantly better", she said.
As for unincorporated self-employed, they were down as well in December, but less markedly. The jobless rate for college graduates dropped to 3.8%; it rose to 9.8% for workers with less than a high school education.
"You would've thought you would get a number like this, and you would say to yourself here comes that downward pressure or weakness into play and, lo and behold, the market says you're not right, we are going to go a little bit stronger", said JB Mackenzie, Managing Director for Futures & Forex at TD Ameritrade in Chicago.
Other than construction, the biggest nominal gains were registered by "professional and business services", +161,000 jobs; "retail", +120,000 jobs; "transportation and warehousing", +47,000; and "manufacturing", +38,000. British Columbia was the lone province to gain jobs with the addition of 3,800.More news: Ozil Will Remain if Transfer Talks Don't Suit Arsenal, Says Arteta