COVID-19 wiped out 1M jobs in Canada last month

Apr 12, 2020 | Biz/Tech, COVID-19, News

Kajal Mangesh Pawar
Statistics Canada reported an increase of about one million people who became unemployed last month. (Courtesy: Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Statistics Canada reported that the Canadian economy lost 1,011,000 jobs in March during in The COVID-19 crisis.

The unemployment rate is raised to 7.8 per cent from 5.6 per cent in February, the largest one month decline since 1976.

The closest comparable dramatic decline in economic activity and employment Canada saw was the 1998 ice storm that closed up Ontario and Quebec businesses, StatCan said in Labour Force Survey, March 2020.

The number of people currently unemployed raised by 413,000 from February to March, mainly temporary layoffs from which workers are expected to get their jobs back in six months.

“These increases in absences from work can be attributed to COVID-19 and bring the total number of Canadians who were affected by either job loss or reduced hours to 3.1 million,” StatCan said.

The number of people who did not get any hours to work for the week increased by 1.3 million, according to the national statistics office.

“According to how things are, March seems like just the tip go the iceberg – things may get worse,” said Roshan Gopwani, graduate of Financial Planning and Services program at Algonquin College.

Workers in “less secure, lower-quality jobs” were more likely to experience job losses in March, Statscan report said. 

Women between the ages of 25 and 45 lost more than twice the jobs as men in the same age group, StatCan reported.

About 20 per cent of employed women in this age group lost all or the majority of their work hours in March, compared to 13.9 per cent of men. 

The greatest employment declines were also seen in youth wherein bout 20 per cent of employed youth lost majority or all of their usual hours

The number of workers doing multiple jobs also decreased by 25.6 per cent.

“Employment losses in March affected a range of family types, including couple families where one or both partners may have lost their job. Between March 2019 and March 2020, the number of spouses/partners in dual-earner couples decreased,” said StatCan

“This number would increase because since StatCan survey period number of people have applied for emergency relief,” Gopwani said.

Ontario suffered from the largest number of job losses at the provincial level with the number of unemployed people rising to 403,000, followed by Quebec at 264,000 and then British Columbia at 132,000.

Food services and accommodation had the biggest number of job losses, the sector shrank by almost one-quarter. This was followed by the IT sector, arts and culture losing 13 per cent of their jobs. Education lost nine per cent and retail trade sector lost seven per cent.