Almost half of May job losses in Canada were in Ontario

Almost half of the 68,000 jobs lost in Canada in May were in Ontario.

According to Statistics Canada’s latest Labour Force Survey released Friday morning, Ontario lost nearly 32,000 jobs last month, bringing the province’s unemployment rate to 9.3 per cent.

The new job losses represent a 0.3 per cent increase from April, when nearly 153,000 jobs were lost.

The survey used May 9 to May 15 as a sample timeframe, a one-week period during which Ontario was under a stay-at-home order. The stay-at-home order shuttered most non-essential businesses to in-person dining and prohibited in-person service at restaurants and bars.

It also made it illegal to leave your home except for essential reasons.

Statistics Canada said that Ontario and Nova Scotia make up most of Canada’s overall employment decline in May as a result of lockdown orders.

Of the jobs lost in Ontario, about 23,000 were part-time positions while another 9,000 were full-time occupations.

“The largest declines were in retail trade and information, culture and recreation, while more people worked in a number of other services-producing industries (including accommodation and food services),” the labour force survey said. “Declines were also seen in manufacturing and construction.”

Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development Vic Fedeli said that the numbers released today “are a stark reminder of the toll COVID-19 continues to take on individuals, families and businesses across the province.”

“We understand the toll this has taken on Ontarians. We see it in our communities everyday,” he said in a statement, adding that “there is light at the end of the tunnel” as Ontario’s vaccine rollout accelerates.

Employment in Ontario decreased by 31,600 in May. An increase in vaccine uptake, new rapid testing programs, & unprecedented government supports remain vital.

There's more work to do. We'll continue to support Ontario's families, businesses, & workers. https://t.co/KKAtGCsHy3 pic.twitter.com/cV6NNouIYS

— Victor Fedeli (@VictorFedeli) June 4, 2021

Ontario’s stay-at-home order ended on June 2, but the economy isn’t expected to start to reopen until about June 14.

Under Step 1 of Ontario’s reopening plan, non-essential retail can reopen at 15 per cent capacity and restaurants are allowed to serve customers on patios.

The province will not move forward to Step 2 until at least 21 days later.