The Canadian economy lost more than 60,000 jobs in December, the first time employment has fallen since April 2020.
According to a Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey, employment fell by 63,000 last month, driving the unemployment rate to 8.6%.
The industries that saw the greatest loss of jobs were most affected by increased public health measures, including accommodation and food services, as did information, culture, and recreation.
The report shows that part-time employment suffered as well, declining by 99,000 in December. Of the jobs cut, 58,000 were held by those aged 15-24, and 27,000 by those aged 55 and older. Self-employment fell by 62,000.
The second wave of the virus forced more Canadians to work from home, with 28.6% doing so in December.
Statistics Canada said that 1.1 million workers were affected by the COVID-19 economic shutdown, whether by lost jobs or reduced hours. A total of 5.5 million Canadian workers were affected by the initial shutdown in April.
To date, there have been 635,134 COVID-19 cases in Canada and 16,579 virus-related deaths.