Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Regional and Community-level Database Version 3.0
According to a new Statistics Canada study, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) supported one in six employees of rural businesses from January 17 to May 8, 2021. This accounted for one-tenth, or $1.5 billion, of the CEWS amounts disbursed nationwide by the program over this period. Rural areas are defined as regions outside census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020, a number of public health measures have been taken that have affected businesses across Canada, including temporary closures, reduced hours and physical distancing. To help businesses cope with the economic challenges resulting from the pandemic and to keep more workers employed, the CEWS program was established in March 2020 to provide wage subsidies to eligible employers.
The new study, "Rural insights from the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy: January 17, 2021 to May 8, 2021," which is part of the Rural and Small Town Bulletin series, is based on the 12th to the 15th CEWS claim periods. The CEWS program is organized by CEWS claim periods set up by the Canada Revenue Agency. A CEWS claim period is the four-week period for which an eligible employer can claim the wage subsidy for their employees.
One-tenth of Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy support went to rural businesses
The CEWS program provided $1.5 billion to rural businesses between January 17 and May 8, 2021, accounting for 10.2% of the total subsidies provided for this time frame. These CEWS payments supported approximately 420,000 employees of rural businesses. In comparison, urban businesses received $12.9 billion and 3.6 million employees were supported.
Manufacturing received the largest share (16.7%) of CEWS payments among rural industries, followed by construction (16.3%) and accommodation and food services (13.0%). Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting; and transportation and warehousing received about 7.5% each.
Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy supported one in six rural employees in periods 12 to 15
The CEWS program supported approximately one in six (16.9%) rural employees and about one in five (21.3%) urban employees from January 17 to May 8, 2021, the interval that represents CEWS periods 12 to 15. The accommodation and food services (34.3%), manufacturing (28.0%), and transportation and warehousing (25.9%) sectors had the highest average shares of employees supported by CEWS within an industry.
The share of employees supported by CEWS was greater for urban businesses compared with rural ones for all industries, with the exception of management of companies and enterprises; finance and insurance; and agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting.
Rural workers less likely than urban counterparts to be supported by Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy in most provinces and territories
The proportion of employees supported by CEWS within a province or territory varied by jurisdiction. In most provinces and territories, a higher share of employees were supported in urban areas than in rural areas. Among rural businesses, the highest shares of employees benefiting from the program were in Alberta (21.3%), followed by Quebec (20.0%) and Prince Edward Island (18.2%). In urban areas, the highest shares of employees supported in a province or territory were in Alberta (24.6%), Quebec (22.1%) and Ontario (21.5%).
Over these four claim periods, Quebec, Ontario, and Alberta together received over two-thirds (69.8%) of all CEWS amounts given to rural areas, at 26.7%, 20.1% and 23.0%, respectively. These three provinces also contained over two-thirds (69.2%) of all CEWS-supported employees in rural areas over this time frame, at 30.4% for Quebec, 19.9% for Ontario, and 18.9% for Alberta.
Note to readers
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Regional and Community-level Database is a custom dataset constructed with the Canada Revenue Agency's Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) microdata and other administrative data sources available within Statistics Canada. The database contains variables on the amount of approved CEWS claims and number of CEWS-supported employees, among other variables of interest. Data are available at sub-provincial levels of geography, notably rural and urban breakdowns, and by industry sectors and subsectors. Rural areas are defined as regions outside census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations according to Statistics Canada's Standard Geographical Classification 2016.
This release of the database includes 15 4-week claim periods, beginning March 15, 2020, and ending May 8, 2021. A CEWS claim period is the four-week period for which an eligible employer can claim the wage subsidy for remuneration paid to eligible employees.
For more information, see Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Regional and Community-level Database and CEWS frequently asked questions.
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Regional and Community-level Database Version 3.0 is now available.
A new paper, "Rural insights from the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy: January 17, 2021 to May 8, 2021," which is part of the Rural and Small Town Bulletin series, is now available.
For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; firstname.lastname@example.org) or Media Relations (email@example.com).