FIGHTING UNEMPLOYMENT DURING THE PANDEMIC
The unemployment rate for the year 2020 skyrocketed till May, following a decline. In January, more than 5% of people were unemployed. This following month there was a slight change until the percentage skyrocketed from March until May reaching 13.7%, which was also the peak month for Canada’s unemployment in 2020. But soon after, the numbers declined until the last month of the year, reaching 8.6%. The public expected this unemployment rate during the pandemic because of all the layoffs and lockdown across Canada.
After one year of the pandemic, the percentage of people under 15 employed is 2.4 points lower than in 2020.
Statics Canada reports that businesses that have been more affected during the pandemic are retail, accommodation and food service.
Consequently, employment for women that are more concentrated in public-facing jobs has been more affected by the public health measures that the country had made. To know more about that, we talked with Nimrat Preet, a former employee at Popeye’s Brampton who lost her job recently. She said that only a limited number of people could be at the store according to the public health guidelines. And because of the low demand for food, not many employees were needed in-store, which resulted in layoffs. Many employed workers were losing their jobs because of the pandemic, increasing the unemployment rate during the first wave of Covid-19.
To address this issue, the government tried to help people financially who lost their jobs during the pandemic. The Finance Minister, Chrystia Freeland, passed a statement during her first policy announcement that, “The government has taken more debt so that Canadians didn’t have to take on more debt.” Moreover, 259,000 jobs were also added in February, dropping the unemployment from 9.4 percent to 8.2 percent. The easing of restrictions and the actual roll-out of vaccination around the country are helping to reactivate the economy, necessary for the countries’ economy.
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