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

Oak Bay High voting station was slow and steady for the provincial election day, Oct. 24, 2020. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Early voting reduces election day turnout in Oak Bay-Gordon Head

An estimated 15,918 mail-in ballots requested in Oak Bay-Gordon Head

Drive up voting is popular with Victoria-Swan Lake voters at the Craigflower elementary polling station. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Drive up voting popular at Craigflower polling station in Victoria-Swan Lake

Nearly 13,000 mail-in ballots were requested in the Victoria-Swan Lake riding

Polls close at 8 p.m. in the Esquimalt-Metchosin riding. (Katherine Engqvist/News Staff)
VIDEO: Esquimalt-Metchosin candidates reflect on campaign as polls close

An estimated 12,000 mail-in ballots were requested in the Esquimalt-Metchosin riding

This was the line-up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre at around 2:30 p.m. Saturday. The short-up line speaks to the high number of votes, which have already been cast against the backdrop of COVID-19 by mail or in advanced voting. Voters, however, unanimously praised the safety measures in place, as well the convenience of the polling stations. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
‘Slow’ turnout at polls across Saanich North and the Islands

Peter Mason, district electoral officer, expects about 10,000 ballots to be cast

Barb Wright and Cynthia Vance at the District Electoral Office for the Langford-Juan de Fuca (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Polls now closed in Langford-Juan de Fuca

An estimated 12,120 mail-in ballots were requested in the Langford-Juan de Fuca riding

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Oct. 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson,  BC NDP leader John Horgan and BC Green leader Sonia Furstenau. (File)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Climate change and sustainability promises from the parties

Snap election has led to a short campaign; here’s the lowdown on the platforms

Most Read