COVID-19: The impact on Canadian workers

September 22, 2021by Micah Shaw

COVID-19: The impact on Canadian workers

How has COVID affected full-time jobs in Canada?

In 2020, most countries were surprised by the damaging effects of COVID-19, and Canada is not an exception. March and April of last year, the Great White North lost more than three million jobs from a workforce of just over 19 million


Although the Canadian economy is one of the strongest in North America and is greatly attributed to the labour market, it is no secret that ever since the spread of COVID-19, millions of employment professionals have lost their jobs.


With this big blow in the Canadian economy,  the labour market is struggling to make ends meet, and industries are experiencing significant changes, especially in wages and working hours.


However, the situation just got worse during April and May 2020. 

chart with graphics

With all the government’s effort, the bounce-back was initially robust with nearly 2.4 million jobs added between May and September. However, there was a slowdown in the recovery rate between September and October as the second wave of COVID-19 grew. 

chart with graphics

H2: Who took the hardest hit?


We are all familiar with the devastating effects of the COVID-19  pandemic on full-time employees, single parents, and communities overall. What may not be as well known is the detrimental effect it has on young full-time job workers. This is especially true for those without formal education or training.

Why the coronavirus recession hit young workers so hard

  • The pandemic has affected males and females equally. As a result, the gender gap in terms of job security has not increased or decreased.
  • However, according to Global People Strategist, studies have shown that women without children are more likely to be fired in comparison to those with children. They are also more prone to getting their wages cut and reduced hours of works.
  • The economic consequences of the virus also affected both immigrants and non-immigrants, which is evident in the doubled unemployment rate.


Canada’s 3rd COVID-19 wave creates “zigzag” economy 


H2: How serious is the damage?


From health to job crisis

With so many lockdowns happening, bars, restaurants, cinemas, and other businesses have been ordered closed by provinces, territories, and municipalities across the country. Because of this, full-time employees working in these sectors have been greatly affected by the pandemic.

The government of Ontario and Saskatchewan have mandated the closure of all businesses not deemed essential by the provinces. This means that the majority of businesses in those provinces will have no choice but to lay off full-time workers or reduce services if they want to keep their doors open for business.

*Insert Quebec, Ontario closing non-essential businesses*

H2: What’s the recovery plan?


The Industry Strategy Council of Canada made a report to show its bold ambition to make Canada even stronger after the pandemic.


Restart, recover and reimagine prosperity for all Canadians.


Restart. This pillar focuses on safely restoring confidence and commerce. It features adjustments on the economic response plan to better support a safe reopening of the economy and secures the hardest-hit sectors.


Recover. It aims for a trajectory for inclusive growth. These recommendations will reignite growth by doubling down on a future-oriented investment plan.


Reimagine. It shows an industrial strategy with four key pillars for all Canadians’ digital, sustainable, and innovative economies. 


The Economic Strategy Tables also identified six signature initiatives in their September 2018 report, The Innovation and Competitiveness Imperative, Seizing Opportunities for Growth, that shows a new model for industry-government collaboration, focused on turning Canadian economic strengths into global advantages. These initiatives are significant steps that can be applied in the coming days.


  1. Own the podium: More high-growth firms to anchor Canada’s prosperity
  2. Agile regulations that support economic growth
  3. Skills and talent: Position Canadians for jobs of the future
  4. Technology adoption centers: Drive technology adoption and leapfrog the global competition
  5. Physical and digital infrastructure: To connect Canadians and enable export growth
  6. Branding: Telling the world what our innovative economy has to offer


logo of Valley PersonnelSo, if you are a candidate looking for an opportunity at general labour, or an employer looking to recruit talent for full-time and temp jobs, Valley Personnel can help.

Valley Personnel takes pride in providing certified and experienced workers. We are a legal, local, and fully permitted business in British Columbia that can provide a minimum of 15 personnel a day. Our 40 years of experience enable us to respond quickly to your HR needs.

Focus on your farm. Leave the hiring to us.