OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says the economy added 259,000 jobs in February, almost wiping out losses sustained over the previous two months.
The economy lost almost 213,000 jobs in January as lockdown measures erased months of gains, and marked the worst monthly declines since last April.
February’s reopenings reversed that drop with gains largely in Ontario and Quebec, and in sectors highly affected by tightened public health restrictions.
The national unemployment rate fell to 8.2 per cent, the lowest level since March 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The figures whipped past expectations of a gain of 75,000 and an unemployment rate of 9.2 per cent, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.
The gains now leave the country 599,100 jobs short of where they were in February of last year, or 3.1 per cent below pre-pandemic levels.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 12, 2021.