he Financial Accountability Office (FAO) has released a new report looking at Ontario’s labour market results for April, during the ongoing economic shutdown prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ontario lost 689,200 jobs in April, bringing the province’s employment down to its lowest level since late 2009. As a result, Ontario’s unemployment rate climbed to 11.3 per cent in April, its highest level since June 1993.
Nearly all the job losses were related to the government-directed closure of non-essential activities starting in mid-March. Since then, the FAO estimates that about 2.2 million Ontario workers – nearly one in three jobs in the province – have been directly affected through either job losses (1.1 million) or sharply reduced hours (1.1 million).
- Almost 87 per cent of the job losses between February and April occurred in the private sector (-947,500), while public sector employment (-88,700) and self-employment (-55,700) recorded relatively smaller declines.
- Part-time workers lost jobs at more than twice the pace (-27.9 per cent) compared to full-time workers (-11.5 per cent).
- Workers in industries with below-average wages (including wholesale and retail trade and accommodation and food services) have accounted for seven in 10 jobs lost since February.
- Job losses have also been more pronounced for temporary workers (-28.0 per cent) and youth (-32.4 per cent).
- Since February, job losses among women (-577,200) have been somewhat larger than for men (-514,800).