Ontario's Labour Market in 2020"> Ontario's Labour Market in 2020">

Some Data from the Report Ontario's Labour Market in 2020

According to the report of the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario, the province's employment declined by 355,300 jobs (or -4.8 per cent) in 2020, marking the largest annual loss of employment on record. In addition to the job losses, 342,690 more Ontarians had close to no hours worked, while a further 67,350 employees worked less than half their usual hours. Combined, the total number of employees affected by the loss of employment was 765,340 in 2020.

The Office essentially attributes this loss to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly to the height of the initial lockdowns during the spring of 2020. According to the report, the number of workers affected by the loss of employment reached 2.1 million in May, declining rapidly as lockdown restrictions were eased through the summer, and increasing again with the targeted restrictions later in the year.

The province's annual unemployment rate jumped to 9.6 per cent in 2020, the highest since 1993. The report acknowledges that the actual unemployment rate is much higher, because there was a surge over the year in workers who did not look for a job although they wanted one and therefore were not counted as unemployed. The report estimates that one in five Ontario workers were either unemployed, did not look for a job although they wanted one, or worked fewer hours than they desired.

Ontario's youth employment (ages 15-24 years), declined by 156,900 (or -15.5 per cent) in 2020, representing more than four in 10 jobs lost in the province, and bringing youth employment to a level not seen since 1999. With the sharp job loss, the youth unemployment rate reached 22.0 per cent, the highest on record. Ontario's core-age (25-54) employment declined by 175,200 (or -3.7 per cent) in 2020, the largest drop on record.

Women workers (-202,600 or -5.8 per cent) experienced larger job losses compared to male workers (-152,600 or -3.9 per cent).

Employment among core-age (25-54) immigrants, who represent more than one-third of total employment in this age group, declined by 6.6 per cent, nearly three times the rate of job loss among those born in Canada (-2.3 per cent). The unemployment rate increased more sharply for both recent immigrants (-11.1 per cent) and long-term immigrants (-8.4 per cent), compared to those born in Canada (-6.7 per cent).

Ontario employees in low-wage jobs saw their employment decline by 27.0 per cent, while employment in other wage categories increased by 1.4 per cent.

Nearly all industries experienced sharp job losses in 2020.

The services-producing sector experienced sharper job losses in 2020 (-298,800 or -5.1 per cent) compared to the decline in the goods-producing sector (-56,600 or -3.9 per cent).

In the service sector, some of the largest job losses were concentrated in accommodation and food services (-110,700 or -24.7 per cent), retail trade (-47,000 or -5.6 per cent), and transportation and warehousing (-38,200 or -9.7 per cent). In health care and social assistance, 30,500 jobs were lost (-3.3 per cent) while educational services lost 25,000 jobs (-4.5 per cent). Almost all the goods-producing industries (agriculture, natural resources, utilities, construction and manufacturing) saw fewer jobs in 2020, with the majority of losses in construction (-25,200 or -4.7 per cent) and manufacturing (-24,000 or -3.2 per cent).

All provinces experienced sharp declines in employment. Ontario recorded the fourth deepest rate of job loss, tied with Quebec (-4.8 per cent), trailing British Columbia (-6.6 per cent), Alberta (-6.6 per cent), and Newfoundland and Labrador (-5.7 per cent). 

This article was published in

Voluem [volume] Number 9 - February 22, 2021 - No. 9

Article Link:


Website:  www.cpcml.ca   Email:  editor@cpcml.ca