Take comfort, Canadian job-seekers. For the first time since Jan. 2009, the unemployment rate fell below 8%. Statistics Canada reported that unemployment is at 7.9%, thanks to 93,000 new jobs created in June.
"These gains offset nearly all the employment losses observed during the labour market downturn which began in the fall of 2008," according to the latest from the Labour Force Survey, with 403,000 new jobs since July of last year. So, what sectors are hiring now?
In Pictures: 6 Hot Careers With Lots Of Jobs
1. Retail and Wholesale Trade
There has been an increase of 69,000 workers in retail and wholesale trade in the last year, with 22,000 more jobs created last month alone. Although many of these jobs are part-time, the Retail Council of Canada states that the retail industry is the second-largest industry in the country. And part-time can often lead to full-time, the council advises, with opportunities in managerial, finance and administrative jobs that come with seniority.
2. Business and Support Services
Business, building and other support services welcomed 20,000 new workers in June, and 86,000 since the beginning of the year. The number of employees in the private sector has continued to rise over the last year as companies add managers and administrative staff to their teams. (Why leave home to do office work? Check out Top 4 At-Home Financial Jobs.)
3. Health Care and Social Assistance
The health care and social assistance sector added 20,000 workers in June. As the population ages, so does its dependence on health care. As in the United States, the Canadian Nurses Association warns that there will be a shortage in health care professionals in the future. CNA is working to improve working conditions for RNs to keep them in the industry, as well as attract newcomers to the profession.
4. Automotive Repair and Personal Care Business
The automotive repair and personal care service sector also increased, with 17,000 new jobs in that industry added in June. Job openings are primarily due to current workers retiring. The industry is having some trouble attracting young people, though representatives there are working to develop partnerships with high schools in an effort to pique students' interest in the trade, according to the Canadian Automotive Repair and Service association.
Even though the construction business added just 11,000 jobs last month, it's been the fastest growing industry since last July, the labour survey says. Since July 2009, there have been 94,000 more workers in that sector, thanks in part to the federal government's Economic Action Plan. The plan was designed to invest in infrastructure projects to create jobs in the industry. (For related reading, check out Did The Stimulus Work? It Depends On Who You Ask.)
Canada Recovers – Are We There Yet?
"The much needed spending announced last year provided stimulus to the Canadian economy through investments in infrastructure, college infrastructure, green technology as well as incentives to help in retraining Canada's unemployed," said Michael Atkinson, President of the Canadian Construction Association.
But don't get too excited. If you're looking for work, you may have to move to central Canada.
"Virtually all of June's employment gains were in Ontario (+60,000) and Quebec (+30,000)," according to the Labour Force Survey. There have actually been declines in employment in Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick, while other provinces and territories have maintained a steady rate. Worse, some predict that the seemingly speedy economic recovery could slow way down in the second half of this year.
"Consumer spending helped to get the economic ball rolling after the recession," said Pedro Antunes of the Conference Board of Canada. "However, spending has been outpacing income growth since the middle of last year, making the current pace unsustainable in the second half of 2010." Alas, it's never all good news, but fortunately it isn't all bad news either. (For further reading, check out Using Consumer Spending As A Market Indicator.)
Catch up on your financial news; read Water Cooler Finance: Goldman Fined, Financial Fixes And Apple's "Apology".