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Canada's March Employment Figures Break Records

Canadian employment figures for March are record-breaking, and the records they are now setting aren't positive.

According to the figures released by Statistics Canada, measured during the period of March 15 till March 21, employment fell by more than 1 million in March in Canada, down 5.3% overall.

The employment rate, measuring people aged 15 and older who were employed, also fell 3.3% to 58.5%, the lowest rate since April 1997. In Ontario, employment fell by 403,000 (5.3%). 

Canada's financial epicentre — Bay Street — looks a little different these days as the coronavirus has sent most workers home.

Of those Canadians who were employed in March, the number who did not work any hours increased by 1.3 million. Those who worked less than half their usual hours increased by 800,000.

In total, Canadians who were affected by either job loss or reduced hours reached 3.1 million.

Overall, the unemployment rate increased by 2.2% to 7.8%, the largest one month increase since comparable data became available in 1976.

Unemployment increased by 413,000 or 36.4%, largely due to pandemic-related temporary layoffs. Hit hardest in March was youth employment. It fell by 392,000, the largest drop of any age group.

Related Topics: Statistics Canada