March 12, 2021, by Shelly Hagan
Canadaâ€™s labor market roared back to life in February after authorities began lifting lockdowns, a striking sign of the nationâ€™s economic resilience to the second wave of the pandemic.
According to a Statistics Canada report, the economy added 259,200 jobs in February, well ahead of expectations for a 75,000 gain. Itâ€™s the first month of gains since November. The unemployment rate fell to 8.2%, the lowest since the beginning of the pandemic, from 9.4% in January.
â€œThe big February jobs bounce is a pleasant surprise, reinforcing the broader theme that the Canadian economy fared better than widely expected in a challenging winter,â€ Doug Porter, chief economist at Bank of Montreal, said in a report to investors.
While lauding Februaryâ€™s strong job gains, Justin Trudeau — whose government is preparing a budget that will include as much as C$100 billion ($80 billion) in new spending over three years — said, â€œthere are still far too many people for whom things continue to be tough.â€ The prime minister added: â€œIf thatâ€™s you, know that youâ€™re not alone in this crisis. Weâ€™re here to help get through it and get back on your feet.â€
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