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

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

A vehicle incident is blocking the eastbound lanes on Lougheed Highway at Jim Robson Way in Maple Ridge on Monday, Jan. 18, 2020. (Google)
TRAFFIC: Lougheed Highway cleared in Maple Ridge, expect congestion

Earlier, eastbound lanes at Jim Robson Way were closed

Horse riders are struggling to find parking for their vehicles and trailers in Golden Ears Provincial Park. (Crystal Ireland/Special to The News)
Petition for equestrian parking spaces in Maple Ridge park gets huge response

Horse riders say their parking lots have been overtaken by cars in Golden Ears Provincial Park

The Art Infiniti Hotel caught fire on New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31, 2020) in Maple Ridge. Seven people were evacuated safely. (Barry Brinkman/Special to The News)
LETTER: Headline about Maple Ridge fire victim insensitive

Senior lost everything in Dec. 31 fire and letter writer felt denture reference inappropriate

Maple Ridge released its winter program guide recently. (Special to The News)
City unveils numerous winter programs and activities

Maple Ridge unveils guide that takes into consideration COVID-19

Corina Ardelean, right, and a volunteer wait for clients at Christian Life Assembly in Maple Ridge. (Special to The News)
Romanian refugees fulfill mission in Maple Ridge

Helping struggling families put food on the table

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

RCMP were called to the 5600 block of 201A Street just after midnight on Monday were they found a 27-year-old man in an underground parking garage who had sustained multiple shot wounds. (Lisa Farquharson/Langley Advance Times)
27-year-old taken to hospital after overnight targeted shooting in Langley

RCMP have not confirmed the incident is link to the Lower Mainland gang conflict

U.S. military units march in front of the Capitol, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021 in Washington, as they rehearse for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony, which will be held at the Capitol on Wednesday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden aims for unifying speech at daunting moment for U.S.

President Donald Trump won’t be there to hear it

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Williams Lake physician Dr. Ivan Scrooby and medical graduate student Vionarica Gusti hold up the COSMIC Bubble Helmet. Both are part of the non-profit organization COSMIC Medical which has come together to develop devices for treating patients with COVID-19. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Group of B.C. doctors, engineers developing ‘bubble helmet’ for COVID-19 patients

The helmet could support several patients at once, says the group

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

Pindie Dhaliwal, one of the organizers for the Surrey Challo protest for Indian farmers. She says organizers were told by Surrey RCMP that the event was not allowed due to COVID-19. Organizers ended up moving the protest to Strawberry Hill at the last minute. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Indian farmers rally moves as organizers say Surrey RCMP told them they couldn’t gather

Protest originally planned in Cloverdale, moved to Strawberry Hill

Most Read