OTTAWA, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- Canada increased 62,100 jobs in November and the unemployment rate declined to 8.5 percent from October's 8.9 percent, according to Statistics Canada on Friday.
The country's jobless rate has continued ticking down from a peak of 13.7 percent in May, but still well above the 5.6 percent rate in February before the COVID-19 pandemic.
From May to September, the employment rate grew by an average of 2.7 percent per month.
The Canadian labor market has recovered about 80 percent of the 3 million jobs that were lost in March and April.
There are 1.7 million people in Canada officially categorized as unemployed, which means they would like to work but can't find any. Roughly one-quarter of them, or 443,000 people, have been out of work for more than half a year.
November's job increase was the weakest since the recovery began in May. However, it was also better than expected. The median estimate from economists was for a gain of 20,000 positions, with several calling for a decline due to tighter COVID-19 restrictions.
At the national level, the information, culture and recreation industry lost 26,000 jobs. Accommodation and food services decreased 24,000 jobs for its second consecutive monthly decline. About one-quarter of people on temporary layoff last month were in the hospitality industry. It's almost assured that more pain is coming as restaurants are targeted by restrictions and bookings fall dramatically.
There were, however, several encouraging signs in November's report. With its latest gain, the finance, insurance and real estate industry is back to pre-pandemic levels of employment. Construction had a banner month, adding 26,000 positions - the first increase since July.
The second wave of COVID-19 continues to disrupt work. There were 4.6 million Canadians who worked from home in November, among those who worked at least half their usual hours. That was an increase of roughly 250,000 jobs from October. Enditem