Ontario lost 355,300 jobs in 2020, the largest job loss in recorded history

In a newly released report from the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO), the FAO concluded that Ontario lost 355,300 jobs in 2020.

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The FAO says that the 355,300 job loss in Ontario is the largest job loss on record in the province. 

The FAO was established in 2013 by the Financial Accountability Officer Act to provide “independent analysis on the state of the Province’s finances, trends in the provincial economy and related matters important to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.”

The FAO writes that the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns “caused an unparalleled disruption in Ontario’s labour market” which resulting in the province’s unemployment rate to jump to 9.6 per cent in 2020, the highest since 1993.

The FAO found that employees in low-wage jobs had their employment decline by 27%, while employment in other wage categories increased by 1.4%. The FAO concluded that the pandemic intensified the challenges faced by low-wage earners, mothers with young children, and immigrants. 

Additionally, “Ontario’s labour underutilization rate reached an unprecedented 22.1 per cent in 2020, meaning one in five workers were either unemployed, did not look for a job although they wanted one, or worked fewer hours than they desired.”

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