School is out and summer hospitality and retail jobs are back in business as COVID-19 restrictions fall away, the latest national employment data showed on Friday.

The job gains Statistics Canada recorded for June were mostly among youth and in part-time work, the federal agency said, including a sharp improvement in the fortunes of returning students aged 20 to 24, meaning those who recently moved from high school into post-secondary education.

Employment among youth aged 15 to 24 rose by 164,000, the largest monthly increase since July 2020.

A burst of work in the summer months can be key to many students being able to afford tuition and other costs sustained during the academic year and to otherwise acquire work experience.

In May, their employment rate was nearly 10 percentage points below the May average from 2014 to 2019 (51 per cent vs 60.8 percent). By June, it had jumped to 67.5 per cent, close to that month’s historical average of 68 per cent.

The gains coincided with the loosening of public health restrictions in eight provinces where indoor and outdoor dining, recreation and cultural activities, retail shopping, and personal care services resumed with limits.

A stay-at-home order was lifted in Ontario, but the province kept remote schooling in place that around Toronto had started in early April, and has still not allowed indoor dining or gyms. (On Friday, the government said it would move to Stage 3 of its reopening next Friday, earlier than expected as vaccine rates exceed guidelines.)

“As economic restrictions across much of Canada began to ease, the labour market responded with solid employment gains concentrated in sectors where the restrictions have been most punishing,” economist Liam Daly from the Conference Board of Canada said in a statement.

“Improvements in several high-contact service industries drove growth in part-time employment and provided welcome job growth among young and female workers,” he added, noting an expectation that progress towards a full reopening can be sustained.

In accommodation and food services, for example, a total of 101,000 new jobs were created, mostly in Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia.

Following two months of losses, overall employment in Ontario rose by 117,000 as strict public health measures began to ease.

The 231,000 total new jobs created in June left the country about 340,000 jobs, or almost two per cent, below pre-pandemic levels, but the employment gap is closer to 540,000 jobs once population growth is accounted for, Statistics Canada said.

Morgan Sharp / Local Journalism Initiative / Canada’s National Observer

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What about this solution to youth unemployment?

Full employment a choice PM can make

"In the real world, currency-issuing governments have no ­intrinsic financial spending constraint. They can purchase whatever is for sale in their own currency, including all unemployed labour desiring work. Mass unemployment is a ­political choice.

The government should introduce what I call a job guarantee by making an unconditional job offer at a socially ­inclusive minimum wage to anyone willing and able to work. The buffer of jobs would normally be small and would shrink as private sector activity recovers. No inflationary pressures arise because government would not be competing for labour at market prices. There is no market bid for the unemployed."

I hate to say this, but this piece sounds like a federal government-sponsored ad praising themselves! I propose that this situation happens every year when school is out, and the only difference this year is the contrast with last summer during the pandemic.
A CBC interview with Armine Yalnizyan, the Canadian economist associated with the CCPA, exposed the fact that most of the jobs that became available this spring were in the gig economy, which means no job security, no benefits, no pension, etc., etc.
Governments and employers still have a LONG way to go to get us to the NEW "normal"!!! And Canadians can push them to it by getting involved, especially politically!