Manitoba’s part-time workers see surge in employment

The Statistics Canada offiices are shown in Ottawa.
The Statistics Canada offiices are shown in Ottawa. Sean Kilpatrick/CP/File

The unemployment rate in Canada is dropping, according to figures released Friday by Statistics Canada.

Manitoba added 16,000 jobs, primarily part-time work, to boost the country’s numbers to 259,000 new jobs in February. The national unemployment rate fell to 8.2 per cent in February, from 9.4 per cent in January.

Economics professor at the University of Manitoba, Fletcher Baragar, says it’s a pleasant surprise to see part-time work lead the way.

“The sectors of the labour force that were really hard hit are youth, in particular aged 15-24, and also women and they are disproportionately employed in part-time work.”

Baragar says February’s numbers are helping close the gendered unemployment rate that rose during the pandemic. In addition, he says Manitoba’s unemployment rate was “lower than the national average to begin with,” starting at 8 per cent and is now sitting at 6.8 per cent as of February.

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According to Baragar, January saw a rise in full-time work largely because there are “four full-time jobs to every part-time job.”

Baragar says the gains in part-time and full-time work show up in every facet of our society, which tells him “with the easing of restrictions, there is some bounce back.”

According to Statistics Canada, the gains in February nearly wiped out the job losses from the previous two months combined.

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