Economic Effects of COVID-19 in Canada: June 2020 Update

By Kaija Kaarid

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the Canadian economy significantly. As discussed in the June 15th article, entitled “The Disproportionate Economic Effects of COVID-19 in Canada”, there have been gender disparities in job losses, shift cuts and rates of re-employment among Canadians. Upon viewing the Statistics Canada monthly “Labour Force Survey” reports, it is apparent that Canadian men and women have been differentially impacted. To summarize:

  • March saw the greatest job losses in female-dominated, service-based industries – representing nearly 62% of all job losses that month [1]. As a result, women aged 25-54 suffered twice the amount of job losses compared to men in the same age group [1]. Further, 885 000 women, as compared to 637 000 men, lost most or all of their working hours in March [1].
  • April had a higher proportion of job losses in the male-dominated, goods-producing sector [2]. This narrowed the gender gap in cumulative job losses.
  • However, as the economy began to re-open in May, total employment increased twice as fast among men as compared to women [3]. Overall, 14.0% of the jobs lost by men in March/April were recovered in May, compared to only 5.4% job recovery among women [3].

June 2020

In June, the labour market continued to re-open, with fewer public health restrictions in much of the country. This brought some welcome news; employment rates increased in all provinces and overall employment increased by 5.8% [4].

When examining for gender disparities, however, women remained at a disadvantage. In all age groups, employment rates among men were closer to pre-COVID levels than those among women. Cumulatively, men had regained 92.3% of February employment levels, whereas women had regained 89.2% [4].

Although growth in employment was slightly higher among women (+6.1%) versus men (+5.5%), a greater proportion of women remained unemployed [4]. With this in mind, it is hoped that July will see more increases in rates of employment amongst women in Canada.


1. Statistics Canada. Labour Force Survey, March 2020. Available from:

2. Statistics Canada. Labour Force Survey, April 2020. Available from:

3. Statistics Canada. Labour Force Survey, May 2020. Available from:

4. Statistics Canada. Labour Force Survey, June 2020. Available from:

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