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Pandemics Impact on Employment

Unemployment rate

The number of people who have lost their jobs has been enormous. In the months of February and April, the jobless rate nearly doubled to about 14%. COVID-19 has had a significant influence on Canadians in terms of unemployment rates, hours worked, and labour force participation – the percentage of the adult population that is working or looking for work, according to newsroom.

As per the same source, COVID-19 may exacerbate existing inequities in the Canadian labour market, according to one fear. For example, if minimum wage workers lose their jobs, they may be unable to pay their rent or other necessities. Knowing which employees are the most affected can help policymakers make more effective suggestions.

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the labor market have continuously been more severe for women than for males. Women accounted for 53.7 percent of year-over-year job losses from March 2020 to February 2021, according to Statistics Canada.

The findings of the article "Gender differences in employment one year into the COVID-19 pandemic: An analysis by industrial sector and firm size" point to the high proportion of women working in small-sized businesses in the service industries, as well as greater job losses among small businesses in the service industries, as the primary causes of the overall gender gap.

Women do, in fact, have a higher concentration in the service industry than males. In February 2020, for example, the services industry (excluding public administration) employed 89.8 percent of women compared to 68.3 percent of males.

Image is courtesy of Pewsreach.


In comparison to individuals born in Canada, recent immigrants between the ages of 25 and 54 appeared to have an easier time finding work, according to the survey. In 2021, employment rates among recent immigrants increased by 8.3%, compared to just 1.9 percent in 2019, according to The Globe and Mail.

In the same age range, individuals born in Canada had only a 1.8 percent increase in employment. Between July 2020 and December 2021, the unemployment rate among visible minorities dropped from 17.4% to 7.4%, as stated by the same source. Those who did not identify as Indigenous or visible minority saw their unemployment rate drop from 9.5 percent to 4% within the same time period.

Image is courtesy of Healthline.

How to reduce the Negative Impact

How can the pandemic's influence on business, performance outcomes, and, most importantly, personnel be lessened? These are the key concerns of any corporate leader. Companies should think about putting together a dedicated cross-functional team (a business response and continuity office).

A cross-functional team might coordinate the operations of various business units, monitor and offer the essential information to top management for further engagement with workers, customers, and partners, according to Deloitte.

If a worker is suspected of being infected with COVID-19, a clear procedure for removing that person from the premises and appropriately treating the facilities must be in place. They must ensure that working environments are safe by thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing them.

Article Author: Idil Gure

Article Editors: Stephanie Sahadeo, Sherilyn Wen


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