The numbers are in from STATSCAN and they are not pretty. There are two months of labour market data available during the pandemic (March and April). The data shows labour markets experiencing a dramatic deterioration due to economic lock-downs and may lead to sluggish recovery in the foreseeable future.
Unemployment/Employment Rates provided by Workplace Planning Hamilton
• Hamilton saw 16,600 jobs lost in April and 20,500 total jobs over the last two months.
• Hamilton’s unemployment rate increased by 1.8 percentage points to 7.5%. This is Hamilton’s highest unemployment rate since June 2010.
• Across Ontario there are have been over a million job losses (1,092,000) over the last two months. This has been Ontario’s fastest drop in employment ever.
• Nearly two thirds of the job losses have been full-time jobs. The share of full-time job losses was actually higher in April than in March.
• The massive job losses have increased the unemployment rate to close to its highest levels in Canada and one of the highest in Ontario.
• The share of working hours also decreased drastically. More than one-third (36.7%) of the potential labour force did not work or worked less than half of their usual hours. In comparison, this rate was 11.3% in February.
The below chart shows the unemployment rate in Ontario (orange line) and Canada (blue line) from January 1976 – the beginning of Statistics Canada recording labour market information, through to April 2020. The numbers are represented by percentages.