Employment Returns To Pre-pandemic Levels

Employment returned to its February 2020 level in September, increasing by 0.8 per cent, says Statistic Canada’s ‘Labour Force Survey.’ The September employment rate was 60.9 per cent, 0.9 percentage points lower than in February 2020 and the labour force participation rate was 65.5 per cent, matching the rate observed in February 2020. As well, employment among core-aged women (those aged 25 to 54) was 0.8 per cent above the February 2020 level; among core-aged men, employment was on par with February 2020. “The persistent labour shortage across Canada clearly reflects organizations’ struggle to get back to pre-pandemic levels,” says Tanya Gullison, chief revenue officer of LHH, a human resource solutions company and division of the Adecco Group. “Lack of foreign labour, employee satisfaction, and substandard working conditions have contributed to the increase in job vacancies over time. As companies increase the pace of mandatory vaccinations, there is also a potential risk of terminations among unvaccinated employees, ultimately impacting the labour gap.” She says employers need to focus on employee concerns and engagement. “While re-entering the workforce or transitioning jobs, employees are now prioritizing flexibility, work-life-balance, and satisfaction levels, more than compensation or salary benefits. Organizations and leaders need to plan on ways to nurture trust, flexibility, morale, and emotional intelligence. Most importantly, leaders need to lead with empathy, actively engage their workforce and ensure that culture, well-being, and employee support are at the core of their talent strategies.”