Canada job numbers rise, but salaries barely budge for servers

The Canadian job market is busier than it was before we had our first contact with COVID-19 in early 2020. But in some industries, especially hospitality, there are worker shortages and upward pressure on wages as wages rise. positions remain vacant.

Across all industries, median wages for new workers have risen 10 percent (or $ 2.09 per hour) in the past two years, Statistics Canada said in its monthly jobs report. released on friday.

They have risen 8.5 percent in new food and lodging service workers overall, but haven’t budged for food and beverage servers in less than three months, who make just under $ 17 an hour.

That makes the most sense when restaurants, fast food outlets, and bars have been closed or restricted in their operations as they have for much of that time, but it makes starting paying a difficult bargaining tactic for employers now that reopenings are the norm.

“Record job openings in September have continued to focus attention on whether employers in some industries could raise wages to address hiring and retention challenges,” Statistics Canada said in the November report.

The federal agency said it was “possibly an indication that employers in this industry face challenges adjusting wages in the context of current business conditions.”

It counted about 190,000 more jobs in the broader economy in November than in February 2020, and a similar number of vacancies in room and board services, the largest job gap of any industry.

The shortage could get worse unless the new Omicron variant significantly disrupts these industries. RBC Economics said in a note, adding that a salary increase here could indicate a relatively modest overall salary growth of 2.7 percent compared to the previous year and could increase.

Among young women, the loss of around 30,000 full-time jobs came with a 43,000 increase in part-time jobs. For women ages 20-24, it was a second straight month of low job growth, while young men ages 15-24 were also flat on employment data.

Job growth in retail, Ontario, Toronto

In contrast to the minimal growth in foodservice jobs after two months of sliding, the number of people working in retail increased by 34,000 in November after adding 72,000 in October, pushing it above the level. prior to February 2020 COVID for the first time.

The November jobs report for Canada pushed the national workforce well beyond February 2020 levels, when the economy had not yet been affected by COVID-19. #StatisticsCanada

The reference period for the monthly labor survey was the week of November 7-13. In Ontario and Quebec, capacity limits and spacing requirements were recently lowered in settings where proof of vaccination was required.

Employment in Ontario rose 68,000, or 0.9 percent, a sixth consecutive month of earnings amounting to 421,000, or 5.9 percent, since May.

After a hiatus in October, employment growth in the Greater Toronto City Census Area (CMA) resumed last month, to 44,000, bringing overall earnings from May to 311,000, an increase of 9.5 percent. .

Morgan Sharp / Local Journalism Initiative / Canada National Observer

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