With COVID-19 affecting Canada immigration, the Canadian economy, and other sectors of the country, the slump in the rates of development in these sectors was obvious. Canada declared restrictive measures on travel in mid-March 2020. This prevented non-essential travel across the border for good. But the impact of the move was largely hit the country’s labor market.
The employment rate of Canada that went down at the beginning of the pandemic scenario recovered in June 2020. The June issue of Bank of Montreal (BMO) Labor Market Report Card showed that the country recovered 41% of the jobs lost because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Report Card showed unemployment rates of the country at 12.3%. This was an increase of 6.7% since 2019.
Looking at how different regions of the country fared in this scenario, it can be seen that New Brunswick (NB) registered the best performance. NB had only a 2% hike in unemployment since last year, ending up at 9.9%. NB is the only province with a current unemployment rate that stands under 10%.
In NB, the city of Moncton lost just 2.7% of the jobs it had a year back. Its unemployment rate is 9.1%. This is much below the national average of 12.3%.
Even Atlantic provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), Prince Edward Island (PEI), and Nova Scotia (NS) that generally have higher unemployment rates, are registering yearly increases that are under the Canadian average.
The cities of Halifax (NS) and St. John’s (NL) in the Atlantic provinces were among the 10 cities that came on top in terms of the performance of the labor market. The Atlantic provinces have as yet been the least affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The province of Quebec saw the largest decline in employment owing to COVID-19. Its unemployment rate was 18.7%. However, it also had the speediest recoveries compared to all provinces in June. The decline in employment was just 7.8% compared to the levels before the COVID-19 crisis.
The province of Ontario had an unemployment rate of 12.2% in June 2020. The province’s employment decline and subsequent recovery are on par with overall Canadian levels.
The provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba also had lesser rates of decline in unemployment when compared to other provinces. These provinces also had third and second smallest provincial decline percentages from levels before the COVID-19 crisis. These were 7.3% and 7.2% respectively. These two Prairie provinces, along with Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick are among the 5 provinces of Canada with unemployment rates lesser than the national average.
Alberta has a reliance on oil to fuel its economy. COVID-19 crisis compounded the economic hardships of the province that is still at 10.3% which is below employment levels before COVID-19.
The province of British Columbia (BC) had an unemployment rate of 13% in June 2020. This was an 8.4% increase compared to the levels before the pandemic.
The COVID-19 affected labor markets in major cities like Calgary, Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal the worst.
Grappling with the crisis, Canada did register an impressive comeback after losing 3 million jobs between February and April 2020. The recovery coincided with the easing of restrictions on COVID-19.
The economic recovery started in May 2020 when 290,000 people returned to work. In June 2020, this number increased to 953,000.
In the last 2 months, a 40% recovery was registered by the labor market. Over 1.24 million people got employment.
In an effort to solve the issues presented by the COVID-19 crisis on the economy, the Canadian government will extend the CEWS (Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy) program until December 2020.
The CEWS program is designed to assist businesses to retain its employees and motivate employers to rehire workers already laid-off. It will ensure that they will get the much-required support during this crisis and in turn, reduce the unemployment rate in Canada.
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