Workers board up a luxury store in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, March 26, 2020. Businesses have been forced closed by the city and the province due to the COVID-19 outbreak. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

COVID-19: A look at how layoffs turned permanent in past Canadian recessions

Statistics Canada report finds nearly half of layoffs in past recessions became permanent

While the impact of COVID-19 on Canadian employment have begun to emerge, the longterm effects still remain unknown, Statistics Canada noted in a Wednesday (June 10) report that compared 2020 job losses to those in prior downturns.

The agency said that on average, 12.4 per cent of Canadian workers between the ages of 15 and 64 have been laid off each month since February, compared to about 2.5 to 2.5 per cent in the first two months during previous economic crises.

However, layoffs in all economic downturns cited in Statistics Canada’s report – 1981-1982, 1990-1992 and 2008-2009 – hit younger workers worse than older ones. This year, 25.1 per cent of workers aged 15 to 24 lost their jobs, compared to 10.7 per cent of those aged 25 to 44 and 9.9 per cent o those 45 to 64 years of age.

Having a bachelor’s degree or higher lead to a reduction in how likely a worker is to be laid off. This year, 15.1 per cent of workers without a degree were laid off, compared to 7.2 per cent of those with a degree.

The amount of time at the job mattered too, with 8.2 per cent those working more than five years with the same employer getting laid off, compared to 17.7 per cent for people working less than two years.

What isn’t know, the agency said, is how many of the COVID-related layoffs will be permanent. In all three previous recessions studied, between 44.6 per cent and 46.4 per cent of laid off workers lost their jobs permanently.

Statistics Canada found that some workers who were permanently laid off, even if they later found other jobs, saw a sharp decrease in later earnings. Looking at permanently laid off workers between the late 1970s and the early 2010s, at least one-fifth saw their earnings drop by 25 per cent even five years after their initial job loss.

READ MORE: Fines, punishment for CERB ‘fraudsters’, not people who made mistakes

READ MORE: B.C.’s minimum wage bump won’t alleviate housing or COVID-19 pressures, advocates say

READ MORE: Payments for CERB top $40 billion as feds open doors for commercial rent help

READ MORE: Popular White Rock gelato shop to close after 25% rent increase


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CanadaCoronaviruseconomy

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore Rotary Club raises $20,000 with Golf Ball Drop fundraiser

Nearly 4,000 golf balls poured onto Olympic View golf course Saturday

Construction slows weekend traffic at Millstream overpass

West Shore RCMP recommend Leigh Road exit instead

TRAFFIC: Saanich emergency crews responding to Pat Bay Highway collision

Incident took place at Haliburton Road intersection

Saanich race car driver shifts gears as pandemic cuts U.S. season short

Bill Okell, 65, sets sights on Canadian racing circuit for 2020

Chorus expands online options to in-person rehearsal in Langford, Oak Bay

Free, non-auditioned SingYourJoy recruits those aged 16 to 29

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Most Read