When the PEI government implemented circuit breaker measures in early December to prevent the eruption of COVID-19, they also seemed to have halted job growth.
Statistics Canada released its Labor Survey on Friday morning, December.
Job numbers were on a high trend in the last half of the year. Seasonally adjusted numbers show growth every month except September, and there are an additional 2,700 jobs in July to November.
But the provincial economy dropped 900 jobs in December.
Job losses occurred as new public health regulations were implemented. In early December, seven cases unrelated to the trip were discovered, spreading to the island’s first open community.
Restrictions drastically reduced the size and variety of meetings allowed, as well as closing gyms and restaurant dining rooms. (The gym and dining room were allowed to reopen due to a lack of additional evidence of community outreach.)
The December restrictions seem to have hit hospitality workers hard.
The figures do not provide seasonally adjusted numbers for the PEI based on the Canadian sector. Uncorrected numbers show the hospitality industry lost 900 jobs in December, or one in five jobs the sector offers in November.
Hospitality is not the only sector that sees huge losses in December. Agriculture lost 600 jobs, and construction lost 700, but these are the sectors that typically see job losses that month.
In contrast, the hospitality sector averaged more jobs from November to December in the previous five years.
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