Media Releases May 07, 2021

Labour Force Scarring Starting to Show


(OTTAWA) – May 7, 2021 – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Senior Director of Workforce Strategies and Inclusive Growth, Leah Nord, issued the following statement regarding today’s Labour Force Survey numbers:

“Today, we saw a drop of 207,000 in employment and nearly half a million Canadians who are now unemployed long term as our labour market yo-yos between lockdowns and partial re-openings.

We’ve become de-sensitized to the long-term impact each backtrack in employment really has on the labour market because we’ve seen the economy partially rebound each time. But the rebounds we have seen are different than sustainable recoveries.

Our collective focus is currently on the light at the end of the vaccine tunnel, but we risk losing sight of the continued turbulence in labour market – and what that means for the Canadians bearing the brunt of it.

This recent lockdown will mean more permanent business closures. The job prospects for displaced workers grow slimmer with every month in lockdown as more businesses throw in the towel. Canada’s entrepreneurs are tapped out and the longer restrictions continue, the worse the situation will become.

At the same time, the third wave is also wreaking havoc on women and young Canadians. With school closures and summer break fast approaching, juggling childcare and work responsibilities will once more become a logistical and mental health burden that may very well lead to even more primary care givers, the majority of whom are women, involuntarily leaving the workforce. Students and young Canadians looking for summer and entry level jobs will also continue to struggle. 

In the absence of a cohesive plan to help businesses jump-start the economy, the toll of this third lockdown has the potential to shine a light on the chasm between temporary rebound and durable recovery. Our labour force market scars are showing.”

About the Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Because Business Matters

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce helps build the businesses that support our families, our communities and our country. We do this by influencing government policy, by providing essential business services and by connecting businesses to information they can use, to opportunities for growth and to a network of local chambers, businesses, decision-makers and peers from across the country, in every sector of the economy and at all levels of government, as well as internationally. We are unapologetic in our support for business and the vital role it plays in building and sustaining our great nation.

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For more information, please contact:
Phil Taylor
ptaylor@chamber.ca