Canada added almost 1 million jobs in June but still almost 2 million down from pre-COVID-19 level

Canada's economy added almost one million jobs last month, as businesses reopened after COVID-19 shutdowns.

Statistics Canada reported Friday that the economy added 953,000 jobs during June, on top of the 290,000 it gained the previous month. But despite that two-month stretch, there are still 1.8 million fewer jobs in Canada today than there were in February.

The jobless rate fell to 12.3 per cent in June, down from the record high of 13.7 it hit in May.

The job gains were better than the 700,000 jobs that economists polled by Bloomberg were forecasting.

More than half of the new jobs came from Ontario and Quebec, which added 378,000 and 248,000 jobs, respectively. But every province added at least a small number of jobs.

Ontario's bounce back was largely a result of the province playing catch-up to what happened elsewhere a month earlier, as the province was still largely locked down until the beginning of June, unlike most of the rest of the country, which began to cautiously reopen in May.

Indeed, Statistics Canada said that the country's biggest city, Toronto, was still mostly locked down during the week it conducted its jobs survey for June, so any surge in Toronto's job numbers after the city entered Phase 2 of its reopening was excluded from this set of numbers and will likely show up in July's data.