Summary The COVID‑19 pandemic shutdowns caused an unparalleled disruption in Ontario’s labour market, with the province’s employment declining by 355,300 jobs (or ‑4.8 per cent) in 2020, marking the largest..." />
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COVID Job Losses across the North

COVID Job Losses across the North

Reports the Financial Accountability Office

NORTHERN ONTARIO  ~~~~~~  February  19, 2021 (LSN)  In this region, Thunder Bay (‑5.9 per cent) and Greater Sudbury (‑6.7 per cent) experienced job loss at a sharper pace relative to the provincial average.

Summary

  • The COVID‑19 pandemic shutdowns caused an unparalleled disruption in Ontario’s labour market, with the province’s employment declining by 355,300 jobs (or ‑4.8 per cent) in 2020, marking the largest annual loss of employment on record.[1]
  • The province’s annual unemployment rate jumped to 9.6 per cent in 2020, the highest since 1993.
  • In addition to the job losses, an increasing number of Ontarians worked far fewer hours for reasons likely due to the pandemic, bringing the total number of employees affected to 765,340 – representing about one in 10 jobs.
  • Female workers experienced larger job losses compared to male workers across all the major age groups. Young workers (ages 15‑24) were hit hard by the pandemic, with employment declining at nearly five times the pace of job loss for workers aged 25 and over.
  • The service sector experienced sharp declines in employment, with the largest job losses concentrated in industries that require close customer contact, had more extensive restrictions, or limited ability to work from home.
  • Employment declined sharply across most of the major cities of Ontario. Peterborough and Windsor experienced the steepest employment losses. In contrast, Barrie and London posted small gains in annual employment.
  • The pandemic intensified the challenges faced by vulnerable groups, including immigrants, mothers with young children, and workers in low‑wage jobs. The disruptions triggered by the pandemic could cause lasting structural changes and result in an uneven job recovery.

The COVID‑19 pandemic caused an unparalleled disruption in Ontario’s labour market in 2020. According to Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey, the province lost 355,300 jobs in 2020 (a 4.8 per cent decline), the largest annual loss of employment on record.[2] The annual unemployment rate jumped to 9.6 per cent in 2020, the highest since 1993 but lower than observed in most previous recessions. The rise in the unemployment rate in 2020 was tempered by a surge in individuals who left the labour force and as a result were not counted as unemployed. Due to these exits, the province’s labour force participation rate dropped to 63.6 per cent, down sharply from 64.9 per cent in 2019 and the lowest rate on record.

Young workers (ages 15‑24) were deeply affected by the pandemic, with employment declining at five times the pace of job loss for workers aged 25 and over. The job losses among young workers were concentrated in the accommodation and food services, and information, culture and recreation industries. Part‑time workers (‑152,300 or ‑11.1 per cent) lost jobs at a much faster pace compared to full‑time workers (‑202,900 or ‑3.4 per cent), a trend that was prevalent across all age groups.

The job loss figures provide only a partial picture of the dramatic labour market disruptions caused by the COVID‑19 pandemic in 2020. The pandemic severely impacted the total hours worked across all jobs by Ontarians, which declined by a record 9.0 per cent. In addition to the 355,300 annual job losses, 342,690 more Ontarians had essentially no hours worked, while a further 67,350 employees worked less than half their usual hours for reasons likely due to COVID‑19. Combined, the total number of employees impacted by the pandemic was 765,340 in 2020. During the height of the initial lockdowns, the number of workers affected by the pandemic reached 2.1 million in May, declining rapidly as lockdown restrictions were eased through the summer.

Nearly all industries experienced sharp job losses in 2020

The wide‑ranging pandemic‑related shutdowns in the spring and targeted restrictions late in the year caused job losses across most industries in Ontario. Unlike all previous recessions, the services‑producing sector (‑298,800 or ‑5.1 per cent) experienced sharper job losses in 2020 compared to the decline in the goods‑producing sector (‑56,600 or ‑3.9 per cent).

Read the full Report 

Northern Ontario 
Kenora, Rainy River, Dryden, Thunder Bay, Terrace Bay Marathon, Sault Ste Marie, Sudbury, North Bay, Ontario 

#LSN_Econ  #LSN_ONNews

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