April 2020 has smashed an unwanted record. A new report looking into the effects of COVID-19 in Ontario found some desperately alarming conclusions on Ontario job losses. The province lost 689,200 jobs in April, by far the largest number ever recorded in a single month.
The report was issued on Friday, May 15 by Statistics Canada and the Financial Accountability Office.
It estimates that since the COVID-19 shutdown began in mid-March, around 2.2 million Ontarians have been hit by either job loss or shorter work hours.
That represents about one in three jobs being affected province-wide.
Of those 2.2 million workers, half have lost their jobs all together while the other 1.1 million have had their hours cut back.
Most striking, though, was the note that Ontario employment declined by 689,200 jobs in April, "by far the largest monthly job loss on record," according to the report.
FAO's job loss stats appear to go back to at least 1976, meaning it's certainly been the worst month for job losses in nearly half a century, if not longer.
And the difference when compared with past recessions is remarkable.
The worst month of the 1990-91 recession, February 1991, saw around 50,000 jobs lost. April 2020 had nearly 690,000.
Last month also saw the provincial unemployment rate climb to 11.3%, which is the highest since June 1993, according to the report.
The full report lays bare the devastating impact of COVID-19 since the state of emergency was declared on March 17. That has now been extended until June 2.
The province will undoubtedly hope things start to pick up again as reopenings continue.
Premier Doug Ford announced his three-step framework on how to reopen the province safely, and has already announced a list of businesses able to reopen including garden centres and street entrance stores.
Ontario is officially in stage one of phase two in his reopening plan.
On May 14, it announced the reopening of golf courses, marinas, zoos and other outdoor activities, all while still ensuring social distancing measures are in place.
But still, hair salons are not on the list of those ready to reopen, so you'll have to continue to resort to a DIY trim at home.
Even though Ontario's top doctor Dr. David Williams does not think the province is even ready for stage one because of a lack of progress, it seems like Ford is all in to start reopening the economy.
Hopefully, as businesses get back to work, we might see the employment rate increase again across the province.