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Economic Viewpoint

Canada’s Labour Market in a Temporary Tailspin

April 6, 2020
François Dupuis • Mathieu D’Anjou • Hélène Bégin • Benoit P. Durocher • Joëlle Noreau

Canada’s current situation is unprecedented. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a significant number of workers to stay home. Just a few weeks ago, employers were calling for measures to hire workers; now, everything has changed. Currently, it’s not known to what extent the work stoppage will turn into temporary layoffs for some and job losses for others. The official statistics on the labour market, which will be released soon, may be difficult to interpret and unable to provide an accurate picture of the current situation. This Economic Viewpoint will help to understand how Statistics Canada defines the concepts of employment and unemployment.

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