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

Trail RCMP, coroner, investigating fisherman’s sudden death

The Maple Ridge man, in his 50s, died while fishing on a bridge near Trail

From baseball stars to forest fires: Southeast Fire Centre water bomber has an interesting past

Tanker 489 is stationed in Castlegar this year, but in the 1960s it belonged to the L.A. Dodgers.

Large police presence in Castlegar on July 9 involved man peeing on street

Three police officers responded to the incident near the Black Rooster Pub at around 1:30 p.m.

RDCK to implement new emergency alert notification system

System also includes sends alerts for water advisories

Two search and rescue calls involving children end with happy outcomes

The incidents took place in Trail and Salmo area on July 5 and 6

Horgan says B.C. restart making gains as more people come out of their homes

B.C. announced the easing of more restrictions on businesses, recreation and travel last month

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Lower Mainland YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Haida matriarchs occupy ancient villages as fishing lodges reopen to visitors

‘Daughters of the rivers’ say occupation follows two fishing lodges reopening without Haida consent

Conservatives say police should be called into investigate WE charity scandal

Trudeau is already under investigation by the ethics commissioner for potential conflict of interest

Amber Alert continues for missing Quebec girls, 6 and 11, and their father

Police issued the alert for Norah Carpentier, 11, and Romy Carpentier, 6, from Levis, Que.

Limit police access to lethal weapons in Indigenous communities: Justice Summit

Grassroots-organized National Indigenous Justice Summit was a free-to-attend two-day videoconference

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Most Read