It should come as no surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic has put many Canadians out of work, with non-essential services closed and physical distancing rules in place.
According to the March Labour Force Survey from Stats Canada, employment declined by over one million jobs between February and March, and another 2.1 million saw their usual hours cut by more than half as a result of the pandemic.
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Stats Canada recently released the results of their latest survey, Impacts of COVID-19 on job security and personal finances, 2020, which saw 4,600 respondents from 10 provinces between March 29 and April 3.
The online survey found that one-third of respondents were worried they might lose their job completely sometime in the next four weeks.
Of those who stated that they were concerned about job loss, 61.6% were Canadians who had been absent from work the week prior to the survey for coronavirus-related reasons (i.e., self-isolation, caring for children, the business being temporarily closed), while 29.7% of those with concerns had worked sometime during the week prior.
The study also found that those aged 15 to 24 were more likely to feel insecure about their continued employment, as 41.8% of respondents in that age range stated their concerns in the survey.
Canadians aged 25 to 54 and 55 and older saw fewer respondents state similarly, with 33.8% of the former and 33.2% of the latter.
Many of those who did continue working throughout March saw a drastic change in the way they worked. According to the survey, five million people worked from home between March 22 and 28, who usually would not.
Between February and March — when physical distancing measures were enacted throughout the country — Canada saw a 2.2 % increase in unemployment, leaving 7.8% of the population without a job.
The study also found that nearly three out of every 10 Canadians who responded were having difficulty meeting financial obligations or essential needs as a result of the pandemic.