unemployment toronto

Toronto now has one of the highest unemployment rates in all of Canada

Canada marked its second-highest unemployment rate in history earlier this year as a result of the pandemic, and unfortunately for workers in many sectors, a slew of workplaces are still either fully shuttered or suffering a cut to operations due to lockdown restrictions, reduced demand and more.

And, just as the bustling urban centre of Toronto has served as a top hotspot for infections, its residents have also suffered the most as far as job losses are concerned, according to recent data.

New numbers from Statistics Canada's latest Labour Force Survey show that Toronto actually has one of the highest unemployment rates of any metropolitan area in the country, with a staggering 11.5 per cent of Torontonians still unemployed last month based on a three-month moving average, compared to 9.7 per cent in Vancouver, 9.6 per cent in Montreal, and 7.7 per cent in Halifax and 8.9 per cent nationwide.

The only city surveyed with a higher unemployment rate in October 2020 was Edmonton —at 12 per cent — but Toronto surpassed even that the month prior, hitting 12.8 per cent unemployment for the highest in the country in September, 0.2 per cent higher than the Alberta capital and 3.8 per cent higher than Canada overall.

As the Toronto Foundation notes in its own report on the subject, "many of the largest cities in the country currently have the highest unemployment rates, while many smaller cities are doing better," which is a noted departure from the historical norm.

Perhaps most concerning is the slow rate at which Toronto's floundering economy is recovering compared to other urban centres, in part due to how poorly it is equipped to cope with the blow of the health crisis compared to other locales around the world.

Also extremely worrying is how severely young people of colour and those with disabilities have been disproportionately affected across the country, along with the fact that lowest-wage workers saw their hours affected the most — and, what the future holds for these populations and the city at large.

"The big unknown in the immediate term is how the job market will perform into the fall and winter: Will we continue to see gradual improvements in unemployment, or will future COVID-19 shutdowns or losses of seasonal jobs push the unemployment rate even higher?" the non-profit organization's Toronto Fall Out Report asks.

But with health and safety measures tightening up around Ontario in recent days and due to get even more stringent in Toronto, it feels likely that the economy and the financial situations of individual citizens won't be looking up anytime in the foreseeable fututre.

Lead photo by

A Great Capture


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