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Economy lost 68,000 jobs in May, unemployment rate at 8.2 per cent


OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says the economy lost 68,000 jobs in May as lockdowns to slow the spread of COVID-19 continued.

The unemployment rate was 8.2 per cent in May, little changed from the 8.1 per cent in April because the number of unemployed people in Canada overall stayed relatively steady.

What changed is that more people dropped out of the labour force in May, including workers who simply got discouraged and gave up looking for work.

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate would have been 10.7 per cent in May had it included in calculations those people who wanted to work but didn’t search for a job.

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May’s job losses put the country about 571,100 jobs, or three per cent, below pre-pandemic levels seen in February 2020.

Statistics Canada says employment in goods-producing sectors dropped for the first time since April 2020, including in manufacturing that saw a decline of 36,000 jobs in May.