According to a recent Statistics Canada report, labor productivity rose for the first time in two years during the second quarter of 2022, as pandemic-related restrictions eased across much of the country.
Released on Friday, StatCan said the 0.2% rise in labor productivity is the first after seven straight quarters of decline, starting with the implementation of the first containment measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. .
Real gross domestic product increased by 0.9% in the second quarter, between April and June, similar to the first quarter of 2022. Statistics Canada defines labor productivity as real GDP per hour worked.
“With the lifting of public health measures in almost all parts of the country during the second quarter, businesses were able to conduct their economic activities without any pandemic-related restrictions, such as public capacity limits and mask requirements. “, says the report.
Among the major industries that saw growth in the second quarter, the report found notable increases in productivity in arts, entertainment and recreation (20%), accommodation and food services (14.3% ), as well as transportation and warehousing (5.3%). cent) — all sectors heavily impacted by public health measures, StatCan said.
The number of hours worked increased for the fourth consecutive quarter at 0.7%, although this gain was less than the previous three quarters.
The number of people with more than one job also increased by 1.3% for the eighth consecutive quarter, while the number of people absent without pay fell by 7.7% after increasing by 11.1% in the first quarter of 2022, according to the report.
Unit labor costs, or the cost of workers’ wages and benefits per unit of real GDP as defined by StatCan, rose 2% in the second quarter, compared to 2.8% in the first quarter of 2022, according to the report.
According to Statistics Canada, this slower pace of growth is due to rising productivity. Meanwhile, average compensation per hour worked also rose 2.2%, following a similar 2.1% rise in the first quarter of 2022.
The report comes as Canada faces high but slowing inflation, with major banks predicting another interest rate hike next week.
Buoyed by a decline in self-employment, the Canadian economy also recorded its first monthly job losses of the year in June with 43,000 jobs lost.
The country’s unemployment rate fell to 4.9% that month – the lowest since 1976 – as fewer people looked for work.
Vacancies rose 3.2% between May and June to a new high of 1,037,900 positions, for a vacancy rate of 5.9% – the third month in a row the number of unfilled jobs rose exceeded one million.
The latest employment figures for July also marked a second consecutive month of job losses, with the Canadian economy shedding 31,000 jobs and the unemployment rate remaining stable at 4.9%.
Wage growth rose 5.2% in July year-on-year, similar to June.
With files from The Canadian Press