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Canada’s employment 1.2mln off pre-COVID-19 levels – Statistics Agency

Toronto: Canada’s employment levels remain well below pre-coronavirus levels, with the country counting more than one million fewer payroll workers a year after the pandemic began, the state statistics agency said.

“The total number of payroll employees in February was down 1.2 million (-6.8%) from one year earlier, before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Statistics Canada said in its monthly survey of employment, payrolls and hours on Thursday.

Canada did, however, add 43,400 payroll employees in February, after a substantial drop at the height of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in January, with Quebec and Alberta reporting the largest increases, the agency said. The gains were offset by a decrease of nearly 21,000 payroll employees in Ontario.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has vowed to recover the jobs lost during the pandemic, with the government expecting employment levels to return to pre-pandemic levels at some point during 2021, according to the federal budget delivered last week.

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