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Canada Unexpectedly Adds 290,000 Jobs on Gradual Reopening

  • Unemployment rate hits record as people return to workforce
  • Economists had predicted a loss of 500,000 positions
A worker assembles a counter-top shield at a plastics fabrication shop in Victoria, British Columbia on May 27.

A worker assembles a counter-top shield at a plastics fabrication shop in Victoria, British Columbia on May 27.

Photographer: James MacDonald/Bloomberg
Updated on

Canada’s labor market unexpectedly strengthened after two-straight months of record losses as the country gradually reopens from Covid-19 related restrictions.

Employment rose by 289,600 in May, Statistics Canada said Friday in Ottawa, surprising economists who had been anticipating more losses last month. The gains were across most industries and provinces, though largely driven by higher employment in Quebec, the province hardest hit by the pandemic.