Slight rise in jobs for P.E.I. in May but unemployment rate also rose

·1 min read
This chart from Statistics Canada shows the percentage of employment change compared to February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic started to have an impact on Canadian workers. Ontario is in dark blue, Nova Scotia is light blue, and the rest of the country is red. (Labour Force Survey - image credit)
This chart from Statistics Canada shows the percentage of employment change compared to February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic started to have an impact on Canadian workers. Ontario is in dark blue, Nova Scotia is light blue, and the rest of the country is red. (Labour Force Survey - image credit)

Prince Edward Island gained a few hundred jobs in May, bucking the trend in most of the country where a third wave of COVID-19 cases took a toll on employment.

As the P.E.I. labour force grew from 85,800 to 87,600 people between April and May (an increase of 1,800), employment increased from 78,900 to 79,200 jobs, according to Statistics Canada data released Friday.

Full-time jobs suffered, falling from 66,300 to 65,900, while part-time jobs rose from 12,600 to 13,300.

Because more people were looking for work, the Island's unemployment rate in May was 9.6 per cent, up 1.4 points from April.

In neighbouring Nova Scotia, employment fell by 22,000 jobs last month because of the major COVID-19 outbreak that caused widespread lockdowns starting at the end of April.

Statistics Canada noted that this was the largest monthly decrease for Nova Scotia since the pandemic was declared, adding: "Losses in May impacted most major demographic groups, and both full- and part-time work."

On Prince Edward Island, part-time employment is up 40 per cent since last May (translating to 3,800 jobs), compared to only a 5.1 per cent rise for full-time employment (up by 3,200 jobs).

The Statistics Canada release also shows Prince Edward Island's population aged 15 and older increased by 1,400 from May 2020 to May 2021, or 1.1 per cent year over year.

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