New data available addresses payroll and earning hours in May, It reflects how the lifting of coronavirus-related restrictions has impacted the employment situation in Canada.
The Survey of Employment, Payroll and Hours conducted by Statistics Canada showed that the average weekly earnings rose in May. The purpose of the survey was to provide monthly information on earnings, payroll employment, and hours spent working in Canada. While the survey itself predates the pandemic, it is still monitoring the influence of coronavirus on employment in Canada, alongside the Labour Force Survey.
The Statistics Canada data shows that the coronavirus lockdown led to a sharper decline and recovery as compared to other previous economic downturns. While the total number of employees on payroll fell by 1.8%, it is important to note that the average weekly earnings increased by 2% to $1,139 in May.
The average weekly earnings were calculated by dividing the total weekly earnings by the total number of employees. This gain was accompanied by a 2% decline in total hours that were worked in May, as compared to April.
Canada experienced a 16.9% loss in total hours worked between February and May. In that same period, the average weekly hours rose slightly, which brought the average hours worked per week to about 34.
Labour Force Survey
The Labour Force Survey, which came out in early July stated that the initial recovery in employment was much sharper as compared to previous economic downturns. The lockdown led to employment falling by 15.7% within two months. On the other hand, the slow lifting of coronavirus restrictions caused the initial recovery of employment to come back to 9.2% of February’s levels.