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The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released their latest unemployment rates across OECD countries on Wednesday, with Canada resting well above the average OECD unemployment of 6.6 percent. According to the latest available data, Canada’s unemployment rate sits at 8.2 percent, behind just Sweden, Chile, Italy, Turkey, Columbia, Spain, Greece, and Costa Rica. The 8.2 figure represents a rise of over two percent since February 2020, a time widely regarded to be the start of the pandemic for many developed countries across the world. The OECD notes, however, notes that Canada’s “Temporary layoffs led to inflated unemployment rates in Canada during the pandemic’s peak in Q2 2020, and a larger decline in the employment rate than the OECD average. However, the employment rate is likely to recover slightly more quickly, and the unemployment rate fall more rapidly, than the OECD average, and both are projected to return to pre-pandemic levels by early 2023. In May 2021, the unemployment rate stood at 8.2%, up from 5.7% in February 2020.” Monthly hours worked by Canadian workers fell in April 2020 to less than 73 percent of its February peak.

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