COVID-19 in Canada: A Six-month Update on Social and Economic Impacts

Release date: October 20, 2020Updated: October 20, 2020

On October 20, 2020, an enhanced version of this booklet was published. This version contains additional content: a statistical overview of Canada, as well as some information about the agency's communications, dissemination and outreach activities.

Foreword

Anil Arora
Chief Statistician of Canada

The COVID-19 pandemic has had profound impacts on Canada's economy and society. As a purposeful response to a public health crisis, the policies enacted to contain the spread of the virus have resulted in unprecedented disruptions in the social and economic lives of Canadians, changing how they interact, learn, work, and consume. While disorienting in the near term, the longer-term impacts of these changes may prove transformative, accelerating many of the trends towards digitalization and automation and the changes in the quality of work that were underway prior to the pandemic. The crisis has also laid bare many of the social and economic hardships facing marginalized Canadians, raising fundamental questions about the inclusiveness of the recovery.

Responding effectively to a crisis requires timely, credible information. COVID-19 has substantially increased the demand for data and analyses that illuminate the challenges facing Canadians as households, businesses, and governments gravitate toward a new normal. This compendium provides an overview of the initial health, economic and social impacts of COVID-19, based on information collected during the lockdown period of late March and April, and as social and economic restrictions were eased in the late spring and summer months. The compendium will be updated periodically as new information becomes available.

COVID-19 in Canada: A Six-month Update on Social and Economic Impacts

COVID-19 has touched the lives of all Canadians.

Since the pandemic began, Statistics Canada has monitored its impacts to provide information on how COVID-19 has affected diverse communities across the country.

A data portrait tells how Canadians are faring at the pandemic's six-month mark:

Did you know?

Statistics Canada's website is filled with information about COVID-19!

Canada: An overview in statistics

Population

Population

Society

Society

Economy

Economy

Changes in Canadians' concerns and response to COVID-19

Canadians continue to take precautions for COVID-19

Canadians continue to physically distance, wear masks and take other precautions to reduce cases and avoid overwhelming the health care system.

In July, more than 90% of people said that they would continue to wash their hands more often, and almost all Canadians reported avoiding crowds and large gatherings and keeping a safe distance from others.

As restrictions eased, some precautions were less likely to be followed:

Main precautions taken by Canadians as a result of COVID-19, by period of web panel survey, 2020

Description: Main precautions taken by Canadians as a result of COVID-19, by period of web panel survey, 2020

Source(s): Canadian Perspectives Survey Series, March/April 2020, July 2020.
1. July 20 to 26 value is significantly different from the March 29 to April 3 value (p < 0.05).

Concern about the health and social impacts of COVID-19 has fallen since the start of the pandemic

In July, Canadians were less likely to report being very or extremely anxious about health:

The decline in health concerns was similar across regions, for immigrants and people born in Canada, as well as for men and women. Older Canadians posted larger declines.

After cases fell in June, Canadians' concerns about the pandemic's health consequences dropped in July. The largest declines were concerns about cases overloading the health system (down 32 percentage points) and about Canadians' health (down 28 percentage points).

Proportion of Canadians who are very or extremely concerned about selected issues, by period of web panel survey, 2020

Description: Proportion of Canadians who are very or extremely concerned about selected issues, by period of web panel survey, 2020

Source(s): Canadian Perspectives Survey Series, March/April 2020, July 2020.
1. All the July 20 to 26 values are significantly different from the March 29 to April 3 values (p < 0.05).

Concerns that many Canadians are at higher risk of severe outcomes

Evidence suggests that most people (74%) who were hospitalized with COVID-19 reported one or more pre-existing chronic conditions.

In Canada, 11 million people (38%) aged 18 and older have at least one health condition that puts them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes. At higher risk are:

Rates were lower among visible minority groups compared with those who identified as White (40%):

(Note: rates unadjusted for differences in age structure)

Proportion of those with at least one chronicFootnote 1 condition related to severe symptoms of COVID-19 by age and gender, Canada, 2017-2018 (household population)

Description - Proportion of those with at least one chronic condition related to severe symptoms of COVID-19 by age and gender, Canada, 2017-2018 (household population)
Proportion of those with at least one chronic condition related to severe symptoms of COVID-19, Canada, 2017-2018 (Household population)
  Males Females
18 to 39 19 17
40 to 59 42 35
60 to 79 64 57
80 years and older 72 72
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Community Health Survey, 2017-2018.

Most Canadians would get tested for COVID-19 if symptomatic or in contact with others who were symptomatic

About 6 in 10 Canadians would get tested if they experienced symptoms (64%) or were in contact with someone who had symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19 (59%).

Just over one-third of Canadians (36%) reported that they would get tested if they were not experiencing symptoms but had concerns about infecting others.

Canadians' reasons to get tested for the COVID-19 virus, if testing were widely available

Description - Canadians' reasons to get tested for the COVID-19 virus, if testing were widely available
Canadians' reasons to get tested for the COVID-19 virus, if testing were widely available
Reasons Percent
If I were to experience symptoms 63.5
If I had been in contact or thought that I had been in contact with people who had symptoms or who had tested positive 58.9
If I did not have any symptoms but had concerns of infecting others 35.7
Other reason 5.0
I don't plan to get tested 7.3
Note: Categories do not sum to 100% because respondents could select more than one response.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Perspectives Survey Series 3 (June 2020).

More than half of Canadians are willing to use a contact tracing application

More than half of Canadians (56%) consider it "somewhat likely" or "very likely" that they would use a contact tracing application.

Although younger Canadians are more likely to socialize in large groups, only 16% said they would be "very likely" to use a contact tracing application, compared with 33% of seniors.

Concerns about privacy and government access to location data are the leading reasons why people would not use a contact tracing application.

People in the Prairie provinces (17%) and Quebec (21%) are less likely to report they would be "very likely" to use a contact tracing application compared with Atlantic Canada (28%), Ontario (28%) and British Columbia (30%).

Reasons why people who were unlikely to use a contact tracing app would not install it, June 2020

Description - Reasons why people who were unlikely to use a contact tracing app would not install it, June 2020
Data table for Chart 1
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 1. The information is grouped by Reason for not installing contact tracing app (appearing as row headers), Percent (appearing as column headers).
Reason for not installing contact tracing app Percent
I think it is an invasion of privacy 64
I don't want the government to have access to my location data 44
I don't believe enough people will install it 24
I don't own a smartphone or have a data plan 17
It would negatively impact my mental health 15
Other reason 10
The app would be too much hassle to install 8
I don't believe I will catch the virus 4
Source: Canadian Perspectives Survey Series, June 2020.

Most Canadians are willing to get a COVID-19 vaccine when available

More than half of Canadians (58%) said that they would very likely get a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available.

By contrast, 44% of Canadians are not very likelyFootnote 2 to get a vaccine. Less likely to get a vaccine are

The most common reasons for not getting a vaccine were

Proportion of Canadians not very likely to get a vaccine, by selected characteristics, June 2020

Description - Proportion of Canadian not very likely* to get a vaccine by selected characteristics, June 2020

Proportion of Canadian not very likely* to get a vaccine by selected characteristics, June 2020

Grade 13 graduate or less
44
Trades, community college, CEGEP, or university certificate below Backelors level
47
Bachelors degree
40
Above Bachelors degree
27
No children under age 18
40
Children under age 18
49
Born in Canada
41
Landed immigrant
48
Not a landed immigrant
52
British Columbia
46
Prairie regions
44
Ontario
41
Quebec
46
Atlantic
32
65+
30
45 to 64
45
25 to 44
48
15 to 24
42

Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Perspectives Survey Series 3, June 2020

Did you know?

Since March 17, the agency has held 55 teleconference briefings with media on a number of topics:

Statistics Canada data were cited in more than 65,000 news articles in the past five months.

Economic impacts

COVID-19 brings unprecedented declines in business outputs

COVID-19 restrictions brought about severe contractions in most industrial sectors, including many service-based industries that typically support the economy during conventional downturns.

The road to recovery will involve major adaptations for businesses and households, which pose challenges for an equitable and resilient recovery.

Real gross domestic product

Description - Real gross domestic product
Real gross domestic product
  Real gross domestic product
2007 0.6
1.0
0.4
0.1
2008 0.1
0.4
0.8
-1.2
2009 -2.3
-1.1
0.4
1.2
2010 1.2
0.5
0.7
1.1
2011 0.8
0.2
1.4
0.8
2012 0.1
0.3
0.1
0.2
2013 0.9
0.6
0.8
1.1
2014 0.2
0.9
1.0
0.7
2015 -0.5
-0.3
0.4
0.1
2016 0.5
-0.5
1.0
0.6
2017 1.2
1.2
0.4
0.4
2018 0.5
0.4
0.6
0.2
2019 0.3
0.8
0.3
0.1
2020 -2.1
-11.5

The 2008-2009 recession witnessed sharp reductions in business investement and trade. Annual GDP fell 2.9% in 2009.

Economic growth rebounded sharply in 2010 and 2011, supported by investment and trade in energy. Economic strength in Western Canada supported the recovery.

Oil price shock: Sharp contractions in investment spending. Alberta's economy contracted by 3.5% in 2015 and 3.6% in 2016.

Job creation strengthened from mid-2016 to late 2017 as growth shifted towards Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.

Economic growth moderates in 2018 and 2019 as household spending and business investment slow.

The COVID-19 pandemic: Severe declines in household spending, business investment and trade.

Notes: Data available on CODR. Quarter over quarter percent changes derived and presented in the graph.

Source: Statistics Canada, Table 36-10-0104

Pandemic brings severe declines in most types of economic activity

With families facing job and income uncertainty, household spending fell by a record 13% during the second quarter of 2020. 

Employment earnings fell by almost 9%. Household disposable income rose by almost 11% because of government transfers and income supports. 

Higher disposable income, coupled with lower spending, pushed the household savings rate to just over 28%, up from about 8% in the first quarter.

Strong retail numbers in May and June and housing numbers in July indicate consumers are opening their pocketbooks. But questions remain about the long-term impact of the pandemic on mid- and lower-income households. The outlook on business investment remains weak and the trade outlook is mixed, depending largely on developments in the United States.

Historic declines in household spending, business investment, and international trade as the economy contracted by 11.5% in the second quarter

Description - Historic declines in household spending, business investment, and international trade as the economy contracted by 11.5% in the second quarter - Real GDP and selected components
Historic declines in household spending, business investment, and international trade as the economy contracted by 11.5% in the second quarter - Real GDP and selected components
  Q2 2020 Q1 2020 Q4 2019 Q3 2019
Real gross domestic product at market prices -11.5 -2.1 0.1 0.3
Household spending  -13.1 -3.2 0.4 0.5
Business investement -16.2 -0.6 -0.7 1.7
Exports -18.4 -2.2 -1.1 -0.1
Imports  -22.6 -2.6 -0.8 0
Notes: Data available on CODR. Quarter over quarter percent changes derived and presented in the graph.
Source: quarterly GDP, expenditure and income

As businesses reopen, stark differences are seen across sectors

The COVID-19 business recovery, especially in services, is very uneven. Many professional services are rebounding quickly, while other services struggle to recover. Some sectors, particularly tourism and hospitality, face major logistical challenges. In June, the accommodation and food services sector was at 55% of its pre-pandemic level.

Economic output continues to rebound as more businesses reopen

Description - Economic output continues to rebound as more businesses reopen
Economic output continues to rebound as more businesses reopen
  February  March April  May  June
Total  100 93 82 86 91
Goods industries  100 94 79 85 92
Service industries 100 92 83 86 91
Notes: Data available on CODR. Month over month percent changes derived and presented in the graph.
Sources: GDP by industry
Release Date: August 28, 2020.

Real gross domestic product, expressed as a percentage of pre-COVID-19 levels, selected service industries industries

Description - Real gross domestic product, expressed as a percentage of pre-COVID levels, selected service industries industries
Real gross domestic product, expressed as a percentage of pre-COVID levels, selected service industries industries
  Activity during  COVID-19 economic shutdown (April 2020) Activity during current reference month (June 2020)
Service industries 83 91
Finance and insurance 99 101
Professional, scientific and technical services 87 91
Retail trade  71 101
Transportation and warehousing 68 74
Accommodation and food services 34 55
Source: Statistics Canada, table 36-10-0434-01.

Economic output: COVID-19 shutdown leads to historic declines in labour market activity

From February to April, 5.5 million workers were affected by the pandemic shutdown. By August, the number had fallen to 1.8 million.

Labour market indicators:

Unemployment rate:

Employment rate:

From February to April, 3 million jobs were lost, including almost 2 million in full-time work.

Employment rose by 1.9 million from April to August. Total employment in August was 5.3% below its pre-pandemic level.

Employment, by type of work

Description - Employment, by type of work
Employment, by type of work
  February March April May June July  August
Total  100.0 94.7 84.3 85.9 90.8 93.0 94.3
Full-time 100.0 97.0 87.5 88.9 92.1 92.5 93.9
Part-time 100.0 85.0 70.4 72.4 85.4 95.0 96.1
Source: Statistics Canada, table 14-10-0287-01.

Employment is recovering, but steep losses remain in certain sectors

Employment in several heavily affected industries (e.g., construction, manufacturing) has rebounded to more than 90% of pre-COVID-19 levels.

By contrast, overall employment in accommodation and food services remains more than 20% below the level in February.

Net employment losses, February to August, 2020

Description - Net employment losses, February to August, 2020
Net employment losses, February to August, 2020
  Thousands of persons
Agriculture -28
Forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas extraction -13
Utilities -2
Construction -121
Manufacturing -83
Wholesale and retail trade -124
Transportation and warehousing -106
Finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing -23
Professional, scientific and technical services -19
Business, building and other support services   -62
Educational services -33
Health care and social assistance -53
Information, culture and recreation -101
Accommodation and food services -260
Other services  -49
Public administration -24
Source: Statistics Canada table: 14-10-0355-01.

Immigrants and visible minority groups face much higher risk of COVID-19-related work stoppages

Recent immigrants were more likely than Canadian-born workers to lose jobs in March and April, mainly because they are often new to the job market and are more likely to work in lower-wage jobs.

Poverty rates in 2015 among working families, by ethnicity of major income earner

Description - Poverty rates in 2015 among working families, by ethnicity of major income earner
Poverty rates in 2015 among working families, by ethnicity of major income earner
  Percent
White 5.3
Filipino 7.9
Other visible minorities 9.4
South Asian 10.8
Latin American 10.8
Southeast Asian 10.8
Black 11.3
Japanese 12.3
Chinese 13.7
Arab 14.3
West Asian 18.8
Korean 23.2
Note: People not designated as a visible minority are identified with the colour red.
Source: Statistics Canada, Census of Population of 2016.

Percentage of workers employed in accommodation and food services and arts, entertainment and recreation, 2016

Description - Percentage of workers employed in accommodation and food services and arts, entertainment and recreation, 2016
Percentage of workers employed in accommodation and food services + arts, entertainment and recreation, 2016
Percent
South Asian 9.7
Chinese 12.5
Black 9.2
Filipino 15.5
Latin American 9.6
Arab 9.2
Southeast Asian 15.3
West Asian 10.8
Korean 20.6
Japanese 15.8
Other visible minorities 10.8
Aboriginal peoples 10.4
White 8.0
Overall 8.8
Note: People not designated as a visible minority are identified with the colour red.
Source: Statistics Canada, Census of Population of 2016.

Low-wage workers have been affected by COVID-19 shutdowns to a far greater extent than during the 2008/2009 recession

Average monthly layoff rates of employees, by wage decile, 2007, 2009 and 2020Footnote 3

Description - Average monthly layoff rates of employees, by wage decile, 2007, 2009 and 2020
Average monthly layoff rates of employees, by wage decile, 2007, 2009 and 2020*
  2007 2009 2020
Bottom decile 1.6 2.0 12.9
2nd 1.5 1.7 11.3
3rd 1.4 1.8 9.0
4th 1.2 1.6 7.1
5th 1.1 1.5 5.8
6th 0.9 1.5 4.5
7th 0.8 1.2 4.1
8th 0.8 1.2 3.5
9th 0.8 1.2 2.9
Top decile 0.6 0.7 1.9
Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey.

Percentage change, from 2019 to 2020, in the number of employees working at least half their usual hours, by 2019 wage decile

Description - Percentage change, from 2019 to 2020, in the number of employees working at least half their usual hours, by 2019 wage decile
Percentage change, from 2019 to 2020, in the number of employees working at least half their usual hours, by 2019 wage decile
April July
Bottom decile -65.1 -39.4
2 -52.7 -20.1
3 -43.4 -11.1
4 -24.1 -0.6
5 -34.3 -12.6
6 -25.8 -9.9
7 -16.4 -3.4
8 -9.7 2.7
9 -0.5 8.0
Top decile 13.7 16.0
Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey.

Youth, less-educated workers, women, recent immigrants and temporary employees have been hit harder during the pandemic

Among temporary employees aged 25 to 54, employment with significant hours of work was 20% lower in August 2020 than in August 2019.

Among permanent employees aged 25 to 54, the gap was 3%.

Employees with jobs that can be done from home have generally fared better during the pandemic.

Percentage change, from 2019 to 2020, in the proportion of population employed and working at least half of their usual hours

Individuals aged 15 to 24 versus others

Description - Individuals aged 15 to 24 versus others
Individuals aged 15 to 24 versus others
  15 to 24 25 to 44 All
February 101.8 100.8 101
March 67.3 82.3 80
April 51.7 72.8 70
May 57.3 77.4 75
June 75.3 85.2 83
July 83.2 91.3 89
August 85.7 93.5 91
Source: Statistics Canada, special tabulations, Labour Force Survey.

Women versus men

Description - Women versus men
Women versus men
  men women
February 100.9 100.6
March 84.9 74.8
April 72.8 67.5
May 77.5 71.2
June 86.0 80.4
July 90.4 87.9
August 92.4 89.4
Source: Statistics Canada, special tabulations, Labour Force Survey.

Individuals aged 15 and over, by immigration status

Description - Individuals aged 15 and over, by immigration status
Individuals aged 15 and over, by immigration status
  Recent immigrants Others
February 101.5 100.7
March 84.1 79.9
April 66.0 70.7
May 70.7 74.9
June 82.1 83.5
July 88.9 89.4
August 91.1 91.3
Source: Statistics Canada, special tabulations, Labour Force Survey.

Individuals aged 25 to 54, by education

Description - Individuals aged 25 to 54, by education
Individuals aged 25 to 54, by education
  Less than high school High school BA+
February 101.6 102.2 100.1
March 76.6 81.7 84.4
April 58.4 65.0 82.8
May 67.7 70.7 85.4
June 82.6 81.5 89.1
July 91.3 86.3 94.5
August 95.6 88.6 95.7
Source: Statistics Canada, special tabulations, Labour Force Survey.

Structural challenges in heavily affected sectors—transportation

Disruptions to Canadian airlines are unprecedented

Percentages indicate year-over-year changes.

Description - Disruptions to the Canadian airline industry

Disruptions to the Canadian airline industry

The title of the infographic is "Disruptions to the Canadian airline industry"

In brackets underneath the title it says "Percentages indicate year-over-year changes."

The first subheading is "2001 – September 11 events in the United States". The description under this subheading says "A sudden 26% drop in passengers followed by a gradual recovery."

There are five blue arrows in a row pointing to the right. Each arrow contains one month with the year-over-year percentage change for that month. The first arrow is for the month of September and the change is minus 26.0%. The second arrow is for the month of October and the change is minus 18.4%. The third arrow is for the month of November and the change is minus 9.6%. The fourth arrow is for the month of December and the change is minus 3.4%. The fifth arrow is for the month of January 2002 and the change is minus 1.3%.

The second subheading is "2003 – SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak." The description under this subheading says "A gradual decline in passengers, reaching a 26% decrease in May, followed by a gradual recovery."

There are five green arrows in a row pointing to the right. Each arrow contains one month with the year-over-year percentage change for that month. The first arrow is for the month of February and the change is minus 10.1%. The second arrow is for the month of March and the change is minus 12.7%. The third arrow is for the month of April and the change is minus 25.2%.The fourth arrow is for the month of May and the change is minus 26.0%. The fifth arrow is for the month of June and the change is minus 17.1%.

The third subheading is "2020 – COVID-19 pandemic." The description under this subheading says "A steep decline, falling to 97% fewer passengers than the previous year."

There are four red arrows in a row pointing to the right. Each arrow contains one month with the year-over-year percentage change for that month. The first arrow is for the month of March and the change is minus 44.1%. The second arrow is for the month of April and the change is minus 97.0%. The third arrow is for the month of May and the change is minus 96.7%. The fourth arrow is for the month of June and the change is minus 93.9%.

Source(s): Monthly Civil Aviation Survey (5026), table 23-10-0079-01.

Severe declines in public transit as workers adjust to the new normal

Description - Severe declines in public transit as workers adjust to the new normal
Severe declines in public transit as workers adjust to the new normal
  2019 2020
Jan 159 163.4
Feb 153.5 160.9
Mar 163.5 94.8
Apr 156.5 23.4
May 152.7 26.2
Jun 149.5 37.9
Source: Statistics Canada, table 23-10-0521-01.

Structural challenges in heavily affected sectors—commercial real estate

Commercial rents fell 3.1% in the second quarter of 2020, after edging down 0.2% in the first quarter. The declines were widespread across building types and in every province and territory.

As of the end of the second quarter, a small percentage of commercial property owners indicated that they had applied for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program on behalf of their tenants.

The long-term outlook of the commercial real estate market remains in flux. Tenants are assessing their future office space needs as large numbers of corporate employees continue to work from home. This could put further downward pressure on new office lease rates.

The pandemic pulled down commercial rents across Canada

Description - The pandemic pulled down commercial rents across Canada
The pandemic pulled down commercial rents across Canada
  Q1 2019 Q2 2019 Q3 2019 Q4 2019 Q1 2020 Q2 2020
Office buildings 99.9 99.4 100.1 100.6 100.5 97.4
Retail buildings 99.4 99.4 100.3 100.9 99.9 96.9
Industrial buildings and warehouses 98.9 99.8 100.4 100.9 101.4 98.2
Source: Statistics Canada, table 18-10-0260-01.

Structural challenges in heavily affected sectors—retail trade

The retail sector rebounded quickly from storefront closures as companies developed or enhanced their online platforms. From February to May 2020, total retail sales fell by 18%, while retail e-commerce sales doubled. By June, the volume of retail activity had surpassed pre-COVID-19 levels, while payroll employment in retail industries was 15% below levels in February.

Retail e-commerce sales soar to an all-time high

Description - Retail e-commerce sales soar to an all-time high
Retail e-commerce sales soar to an all-time high
  E-commerce In-store
2016 100 100
110.8 99.5
105.1 96
105.8 100.1
104.3 93.6
105.6 96.9
107.8 97.6
111.1 96.4
120 99.3
115.6 99.4
117.9 98.9
165 103
2017 140.9 103
136.5 103.1
142.8 103.1
150.8 105.1
147 103.2
147.8 105
152.9 104.9
152.5 105
151.9 105
156.1 106.9
169.7 105.7
165.7 106.5
2018 165.7 105.2
159.2 105.5
163.8 107.3
167.6 104.5
174.2 107.9
178.6 108.1
167.9 105.9
180.5 107.8
172 108.4
188 108.4
207.4 107.5
177.8 108.1
2019 189.1 107.9
188.7 107.5
204 108.9
203.4 107.7
217.7 108.4
232.5 107.7
225.8 108.8
223.6 109.9
228 107.6
217.7 108.4
220.2 108.9
244.5 108.3
2020 213.6 110.2
230.2 111.4
273.8 97.8
448.6 73
459 85.9
Source: Statistics Canada, Census of Population of 2016.

E-commerce sales increase more among non-essential retailers

Description - E-commerce sales increase more among non-essential retailers
E-commerce sales increase more among non-essential retailers
  In-store E-commerce
Retail trade   -34.5 94.8
Furniture and home furnishings stores   -69.6 191.2
General merchandise stores  -15.1 170.1
Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores   -79 154.9
Food and beverage stores   3.3 107
Clothing and clothing accessories stores   -84.2 83.3
Health and personal care stores   -16.1 55.6
Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers   -15.8 40.5
Source: Statistics Canada, Monthly Retail Trade Survey.

Digitalization drives structural change

Employment in the digital economy has outpaced even high growth areas in the service sector. Digitally intensive industries have higher rates of innovation and more high-growth firms than other sectors.

Employment growth in selected sectors since the 2008/2009 recession

Description - Employment growth in selected sectors since the 2008-2009 recession
Employment growth in selected sectors since the 2008-2009 recession
  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
All industries 100 102 103 105 106 107 108 110 113 115
Clean technology and environment 100 105 107 110 112 119 118 123 125  
Digital economy 100 103 105 118 121 125 132 137    
Knowledge-based industries 100 103 106 107 109 110 110 114 119 123
Health care and social assistance 100 101 103 105 107 109 112 114 117 121
Sources: Statistics Canada, special tabulations, "Measuring digital economic activities in Canada: Initial estimates"; Environmental and Clean Technology Products Economic Account; and Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours.

Percentage of high-growth firms, by industry

Description - Percentage of high-growth firms, by industry
Percentage of high-growth firms, by industry
  Percent
Digital Industries 18.58%
Information & cultural industries 11.87%
Agriculture, forestry, fishing & hunting 11.17%
Mining, quarrying, oil & gas extraction & utilities 10.06%
Finance, insurance, real estate, rental & leasing 9.44%
Construction 9.33%
Manufacturing 9.07%
Administrative, support, waste management & remediation 8.98%
Professional, scientific & technical 7.96%
Wholesale trade 7.23%
Transportation & warehousing 6.84%
Arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation & food 6.71%
Retail trade 6.20%
Other services (except public admin.) 5.49%
Source: Statistics Canada, special tabulation, National Accounts Longitudinal Microdata File.

Risks and opportunities associated with digitalization in the workplace are unevenly distributed

Lower-income workers have a greater risk of job automation and less opportunity for telework.

Percentage of workers at high-risk of automation-related job transformation, by percentile of employment income

Description - Percentage of workers at high-risk of automation-related job transformation, by percentile of employment income
Percentage of workers at high-risk of automation-related job transformation, by percentile of employment income
  Percent
Below 10 26.8
10-24 16.6
25-49 13.7
50-74 5.5
75-89 3.1
90 or above 2.1
Sources: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, 2019, and Longitudinal and International Study of Adults, 2016.

Percentage of adults in jobs that can be done from home, by family earnings decile, dual-earner families, 2019

Description - Percentage of adults in jobs that can be done from home, by family earnings decile, dual-earner families, 2019
Percentage of adults in jobs that can be done from home, by family earnings decile, dual-earner families, 2019
  Husbands Wives Both
1st (Lowest) 18.7 28.6 8.1
2nd 23.5 36.5 10.9
3rd 27.3 45.1 14.7
4th 28.3 49.9 16.3
5th 33.8 55.8 21.7
6th 38 57.1 24.6
7th 40.5 63.2 27.6
8th 50.7 65.9 36.9
9th 53.1 66.9 39.1
10th (Highest) 66.1 74.8 53.9
Source: Statistics Canada, Special Tabulations, Labour Force Survey, Occupational Information Network (O*NET).

Environmental and clean technology products and services—investing in resilience and growth

Environmental and clean technology (ECT) products and services include clean electricity, clean technology, manufactured goods, scientific services, research and development services, constructions services, and support services.

Share of total jobs attributable to ECT activity

Source: Share of total jobs attributable to ECT activity

Gross domestic product, ECT activities

Source: Gross domestic product, ECT activities

Did you know?

Statistics Canada is partnering with universities to expand access to its data and help researchers respond to COVID-19.

The University of British Columbia harnessed the power of microdata to produce the Vancouver School of Economics COVID-19 Risk/Reward Assessment Tool. This tool is helping policy analysts and businesses make informed decisions

The Université du Québec à Montréal, McGill University and Dalhousie University are accessing microdata to evaluate the ongoing economic trade-offs inherent in policy decisions related to the COVID-19 crisis.

Western University is working with Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey data to examine the impact of COVID-19 on employment by gender.

The University of Toronto is working with Labour Force Survey data and new web panel data to study the economic impacts of the pandemic and the adoption of behaviours to contain the spread of COVID-19 across Canada.

Health and Social impacts

The pandemic has had a major impact on Canadians' quality of life

The pandemic has led to the lowest level of life satisfaction reported by Canadians since the time series started in 2003.

Finances, health and social contacts—three pillars of quality of life—have all been affected by COVID-19.

Average life satisfaction in Canada declined from 8.1 in 2018 to 6.7 in June 2020, a drop of 1.4 points on a scale of 0 to 10. This is about three times the size of the decline associated with being unemployed as opposed to employed (in non-pandemic times).

The share of Canadians rating their life satisfaction as 8 or above fell from 72% in 2018 to 40% in June 2020.

Outcomes are similar in the United Kingdom, where life satisfaction has declined by 1.2 points.

Canadians' ratings of their life satisfaction, 2018 and June 2020

Description - Canadians' ratings of how they feel about their life as a whole right now, response distributions in 2018 and June 2020, Canada
Canadians' ratings of how they feel about their life as a whole right now, response distributions in 2018 and June 2020, Canada
  2018 June 2020
0-2 0.8% 3.9%
3 0.6% 4.9%
4 1.1% 4.9%
5 4.3% 14.3%
6 5.1% 11.9%
7 15.8% 20.6%
8 31.6% 19.5%
9 20.1% 10.1%
10 20.6% 9.9%
Sources: 2018 Canadian Community Health Survey and June 2020 Canadian Perspectives Survey Series.

In the face of COVID-19, youth and immigrants experienced largest declines in life satisfaction

Since the pandemic began, average life satisfaction among youth has fallen by 1.8 points, compared with a 1.2 point drop among older Canadians.

Before the pandemic, immigrants and people born in Canada generally reported similar levels of life satisfaction.

After COVID-19 began, average life satisfaction declined more among immigrants from Asia (-1.8 points) and the United States or Europe (-1.7 points) than among people born in Canada (-1.3 points).

Declines in average life satisfaction have been smaller in Atlantic Canada and in Manitoba and Saskatchewan (-1.1 points) and larger in British Columbia (-1.5 points).

Average life satisfaction reported by women and men did not differ significantly before or during the pandemic.

Average life satisfaction, by age group, Canada, 2018 and June 2020

Description - Average life satisfaction, by age group, Canada, 2018 and June 2020
Average life satisfaction, by age group, Canada, 2018 and June 2020
Age Group 2018 June 2020
Age 15 to 29 8.2 6.4
Age 30 to 59 8.0 6.7
Age 60 or older 8.1 6.9
Note: Error bars represent 95% confidence intervals.
Source: 2018 Canadian Community Health Survey and June 2020 Canadian Perspectives Survey Series

Average life satisfaction, by immigration status, Canada 2018 and June 2020

Description - Average life satisfaction, by immigration status, Canada 2018 and June 2020
Average life satisfaction, by immigration status, Canada 2018 and June 2020
Immigration Status 2018 June 2020
 Born in Canada 8.1 6.8
 Immigrant-US,Europe, Oceania 8.1 6.4
 Immigrant-Asia 8.0 6.2
 Immigrant-Other regions 8.1 6.9
Note: Error bars represent 95% confidence intervals.
Source: 2018 Canadian Community Health Survey and June 2020 Canadian Perspectives Survey Series

Since the pandemic began, young Canadians have experienced the greatest decline in mental health

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, fewer Canadians have reported having excellent or very good mental health—55% (July) from 68% (2019 pre-COVID-19).

Prior to COVID-19, youth aged 15 to 24 were the least likely to report excellent or very good mental health. During the pandemic, youth reported the greatest decline in mental health—40% (July)  from 60% (pre-COVID-19).

Seniors aged 65 and older are the only group who did not experience declines in mental health since the pandemic began.

Women continue to report lower levels of mental health compared with men (52% vs. 58%).

Proportion of Canadians reporting excellent or very good mental health pre- and post-COVID-19 by age group, Canada, 2019, and March and July 2020*

Description - Proportion of Canadians reporting excellent or very good mental health pre and post COVID by age group, Canada, 2019, March and July2020
Proportion of Canadians reporting excellent or very good mental health pre and post COVID by age group, Canada, 2019, March and July2020
  Canadian Community Health Survey 2019 Canadian Perspectives Survey Series1 Canadian Perspectives Survey Series4
15 to 24 59.3 41.0 39.9
25 to 34 63.3 46.2 45.8
35 to 44 65.8 45.9 50.4
45 to 54 68.3 49.5 58.0
55 to 64 70.2 60.6 61.5
65 and older 70.8 67.5 70.0
Sources: Statistics Canada, Canadian Community Health Survey, 2019; Canadian Perspectives Survey Series 1; Canadian Perspectives Survey Series 4; *not seasonally adjusted

Visible minority groups are more likely to report poor mental health and impacts on their ability to meet financial obligations

In response to a pandemic crowdsourcing survey, members of visible minority groups (Visible minority groups include South Asian, Chinese, Black, Filipino and Arab) were more likely than White participants to

Visible minority groups were more likely to report that the pandemic had had a "moderate" or "major" impact on their ability to meet their financial obligations compared with White participants (35% vs. 22%). Rates were highest among

Proportion of participants by mental health outcome and specific population group designated as a visible minority

Description - Proportion of participants by mental health outcomes and specific population groups designated as visible minorities.
Data table for Chart 2
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 2 Fair/poor self-rated mental health, Somewhat/much worse mental health since physical distancing began and Symptoms consistent with moderate/severe generalized anxiety disorder in the two weeks prior to completing the questionnaire, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
  Fair/poor self-rated mental health Somewhat/much worse mental health since physical distancing began Symptoms consistent with moderate/severe generalized anxiety disorder in the two weeks prior to completing the questionnaire
percent
White 22.9 52.2 24.2
South Asian 30.3 55.3 34.6
Chinese 25.7 48.1 22.0
Black 27.9 48.1 32.0
Filipino 26.9 45.5 37.2
Arab 21.0 48.6 30.0
Source: Impacts of COVID-19 on Canadians – Your Mental Health (April 24 to May 11, 2020).

Immigrants are disproportionately working in jobs with greater COVID-19 exposure

Immigrants are more likely to be front-line or essential service workers, including workers in long-term care homes where the majority of deaths in Canada have occurred.

The proportion of  immigrants employed as nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates rose from 22% to 36% from 1996 to 2016.

Prior to COVID-19, visible minorities were overrepresented in this sector—34% of workers identified as visible minorities (compared with 21% in other sectors).

This trend has continued during COVID-19. In July, 24% of employed Filipino Canadians and 20% of employed Black Canadians worked in this industry, compared with 14% of all workers

Proportion of immigrants among nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates, Canada, 1996, 2006 and 2016

Description - Proportion of immigrants among nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates, Canada, 1996, 2006 and 2016
Data table for Chart 1
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 1. The information is grouped by Sex (appearing as row headers), Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates, All other occupations, 1996, 2006 and 2016, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
  Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates All other occupations
1996 2006 2016 1996 2006 2016
percent
Women 18.5 22.7 30.6 8.5 11.4 12.6
Men 3.2 3.5 5.2 10.6 9.7 11.1
Source: Statistics Canada, Census of Population, 1996, 2006 and 2016.

Since COVID-19 began, visible minorities have been more likely to report harassment, attacks and stigma

Added to the health and economic impacts of COVID-19, some people feel afraid of harassment or attacks based on race, ethnicity or skin colour.

Visible minority participants in a crowdsourcing survey were three times more likely to report a perceived increase in the frequency of harassment or attacks since COVID-19 began, compared with other respondents (18% vs. 6%).

The difference was most pronounced among Chinese, Korean and Southeast Asian participants.

In addition, 27% of visible minority participants in a crowdsourcing survey on safety felt somewhat unsafe when walking alone in their neighbourhood after dark, compared with 15% of participants not designated as visible minorities.

Perceived increase in harassment or attacks on the basis of race, ethnicity, or skin colour in neighbourhood since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, by visible minority group, Canada, 2020

Description - Perceived increase in harassment or attacks on the basis of race, ethnicity, or skin colour in neighbourhood since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, by visible minority group, Canada, 2020
Data table for Chart 3
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 3 No Symptoms, Minimal symptoms, Mild symptoms, Moderate symptoms and Severe symptoms, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
  No symptoms Minimal symptoms Mild symptoms Moderate symptoms Severe symptoms
percent
Recent Immigrants (0 to 5 years since admission (YSA)) 9 28 33 17 14
Established immigrants (6+ YSA) 16 33 29 12 9
Canadian-born 12 31 30 15 11
Source: Statistics Canada, Impacts of COVID-19 on Canadians – Your mental health.

Since the pandemic began, Indigenous people have reported worsening mental health, including increases in anxiety and stress

A relatively high percentage of Indigenous participants reported worsening mental health.

Indigenous women are particularly affected: 46% reported that their days are quite a bit or extremely stressful and 48% reported symptoms consistent with moderate or severe generalized anxiety disorder.

Mental health impacts since the start of the pandemic, Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants by gender, April 24 to May 11, 2020

Description - Mental health impacts since the start of the pandemic, Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants by gender, April 24 to May 11, 2020
Mental health impacts since the start of the pandemic, Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants by gender, April 24 to May 11, 2020
  Reporting days quite a bit stressful/extremely stressful Reporting mental heath as somewhat worse/much worse since physical distancing began Reporting symptoms of moderate or severe generalized anxiety disorder
Women Men Women Men Women Men
Indigenous participants 46 32 64 54 48 31
Non-Indigenous participants 30 24 57 47 29 21
Source: Impacts of COVID-19 on Canadians - Your Mental Health

Since the pandemic began, Indigenous people have reported greater economic impact

Although job losses have been similar, Indigenous people are feeling the financial impacts of COVID-19 more sharply than non-Indigenous people.

Among Indigenous participants, 37% experienced job loss or reduced work hours, compared with 35% of non-Indigenous participants.

Over one-third (36%) of Indigenous participants reported that the COVID-19 pandemic had had an impact on their ability to meet financial obligations or essential needs, compared with 25% of non-Indigenous participants.

Among those who experienced job loss or reduced work hours, 65% of Indigenous participants reported a strong or moderate financial impact, compared with 56% of non-Indigenous participants.

Self-reported employment and financial impact of COVID-19, May 26 to June 8, 2020

Description - Self-reported employment and financial impact of COVID-19, May 26 to June 8, 2020
Self-reported employment and financial impact of COVID-19, May 26 to June 8, 2020
Indigenous participants Non-Indigenous participants
All Women Men All Women Men
Experienced job loss or reduced work hours among participants employed before COVID-19 37 38 36 35 37 33
Reported a strong or moderate impact of COVID-19 on ability to meet financial obligations or essential needs 36 36 36 25 25 24
Source: Statistics Canada, Impacts of COVID-19 on Canadians - Trust in Others

Since the pandemic began, Indigenous people have reported safety concerns

Among Indigenous participants, 17% reported that they believed crime had increased in their neighbourhood since the start of the pandemic, compared with 11% of non-Indigenous participants.

In addition, 22% of Indigenous participants felt that people in their neighbourhood are being harassed or attacked "often" or "sometimes" because of their race, ethnicity or skin colour. This compares with 11% of non-Indigenous participants.

Among Indigenous participants, 50% xpressed a high level of trust in the federal government to make good decisions about when and how to reopen businesses and public spaces. This compares with 62% of non-Indigenous participants.

Percentage reporting some level of concern about the impact of COVID-19 on violence in their home, April 24 to May 11, 2020

Description - Percentage reporting some level of concern about the impact of COVID-19 on violence in their home, April 24 to May 11, 2020
Percentage reporting some level of concern about the impact of COVID-19 on violence in the home, April 24 to May 11, 2020
Indigenous participants Non-Indigenous participants
All Women Men All Women Men
Percentage reporting some level of concern about the impact of COVID-19 on violence in the home 11 13 9 5 5 4
Source: Statistics Canada, Impacts of COVID-19 on Canadians - Your Mental Health.

When asked about the impacts of COVID-19,

Since the pandemic began, many parents have reported being very or extremely concerned about their children and their families

Concerns for their children:

Description - Concerns for their children

Percentage of participants who were very or extremely concerned about their children’s

Percentage of participants who were very or extremely concerned about their children’s…
Percent
Opportunities to socialize with friends 71
Amount of screen time 64
Loneliness or isolation 54
General mental health 46
School year and academic success 40
Source(s): Statistics Canada, Impacts of COVID-19 on Canadians – Parenting during the Pandemic, June 2020

Concerns about balancing child care, schooling and work were highest among those with school-aged children aged 4 to 11.

Description - Concerns about balancing child care, schooling and work were highest among those with school aged children aged 4 to 11.
Parents of young school-aged children were the most likely to be very or extremely concerned about balancing child care, schooling and work
  Percent
Preschool-aged children only 70
School-aged children aged 4 to 11 80
School-aged children aged 12 to 14 55
Children of various ages 76
Source(s): Statistics Canada, Impacts of COVID-19 on Canadians – Parenting during the Pandemic, June 2020

Concerns for their families:

Description - Concerns for their families

Percentage of participants who were very or extremely concerned for their families in terms of…

Table 3
Table summary
This table displays the results of Table 3 Percent (appearing as column headers).
Percent
Balancing child care, schooling and work 74
Managing their child's or children's behaviours, stress levels, anxiety and emotions 61
Having less patience, raising their voice, or scolding or yelling at their children 46
Staying connected with family or friends 43
Getting along and supporting each other 37
Feeling lonely in their own home 30
Source(s): Statistics Canada, Impacts of COVID-19 on Canadians – Parenting During the Pandemic, June 2020

Concerns about balancing work and child care: A majority of families require child care in order to work

When child care services reopen, will your child or children attend?

When asked why they will not send their children to child care…

Description - When asked why they will not send their children to child care
When child care services reopen, why will your child or children not attend?
Table summary
This table displays the results of When child care services reopen percent (appearing as column headers).
percent
I am concerned about the health of my child or another member of the household 49
I can no longer afford child care services 6
My family members or friends will take care of my child or children 13
I will no longer need child care services 32
Source(s): Statistics Canada, Impacts of COVID-19 on Canadians – Parenting during the Pandemic, June 2020

Among the 1 in 3 participants who said their children would resume attending, 88% said that they require child care in order to work

As some schools move to online learning, lack of access to the Internet and devices may disadvantage some children in low-income households

While only 1.2% of Canadian households with children do not have access to the Internet at home, the rate is higher among low-income households (4.2%) compared with high-income households (0.2%).

Low-income households are also more likely to have less than one device for each household member (63%) compared with 56% among high-income households.

Percentage of households with children younger than 18 who have less than one Internet-enabled device per household member

Description - Percentage of households with children under age 18 who have less than one internet-enabled device per household member
Data table for chart 2
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for chart 2 Percent (appearing as column headers).
  Percent
Lowest quartile 63.0
Second quartile 60.7
Third quartile 56.9
Highest quartile 56.2
Total 58.4
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Internet Use Survey, 2018.

Percentage of households with children younger than 18 who have no home Internet

Description - Percentage of households with children under age 18 who have no home internet
Data table for chart 1
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for chart 1 Percent (appearing as column headers).
  Percent
Lowest quartile 4.2
Second quartile 1.9
Third quartile 0.4
Highest quartile 0.2
Total 1.2
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Internet Use Survey, 2018.

Families of children with disabilities have higher rates of concern about the impacts of COVID-19

A higher proportion of parents of children with disabilities are very or extremely concerned about their children's amount of screen time, loneliness or isolation, general mental health, school year and academic success.

Crowdsourcing participants' concerns for their children aged 0 to 14 years because of the COVID-19 pandemic, by presence of children with disabilities at home

Description - Crowdsourcing participants' concerns for their children aged 0 to 14 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, by presence of children with disabilities at home
Data table for chart 1
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for chart 1 Children without disabilities and Children with disabilities, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Children without disabilities Children with disabilities
percent
General physical health 21.6 27.6
General mental health 42.8 60.4
Loneliness or isolation 51.6 63.0
School year and academic success 35.6 57.6
Opportunities to socialize with friends 70.2 73.8
Amount of screen time 61.7 72.6
Online safety 22.3 34.4
Amount of physical activity 35.5 49.4
Eating junk food or sweets 20.0 28.3
Notes: Percent calculations exclude both "not applicable" and "not stated" responses. The pattern of results was similar when "not applicable" responses were included.
Source: Impacts of COVID-19 on Canadians - Parenting During the Pandemic: Data Collection Series (5323).

COVID-19 has disrupted postsecondary studies—more so for students in services, trades and health care

Early in the pandemic, 26% of postsecondary students who responded to a crowdsourcing questionnaire (100,000 participants) indicated that their education had been disrupted.

COVID-19's impact varied by discipline, with students in programs related to services (56%), trades (53%), or health care (41%) hardest hit.

Almost all participants (92%) reported that they had some or all of their courses moved online.

Description - For many students, academic work was delayed, postponed or cancelled
Proportion of participants who reported the following academic impacts:
Table summary
This table displays the results of Proportion of participants who reported the following academic impacts: Percentage (appearing as column headers).
  Percentage
Some courses cancelled or postponed 26%
Not able to complete some or all courses 10%
Planned work placement delayed or cancelled 35%
Not able to complete credential as planned 11%
Some or all courses moved online 92%
Source: Impacts of the COVID pandemic on post secondary students

Postsecondary students are very concerned about their financial situations

In a postsecondary crowdsourcing survey early in the pandemic, students said that they were very or extremely concerned about their finances—even after the Canada Emergency Student Benefits (CESB) was announced. Concerns included

Factors associated with slower debt repayment include having a larger debt at graduation, being a single parent, reporting a disability and being a landed immigrant or a member of a visible minority group (college graduates only).

64% of the class of 2015 had not fully paid their debt 3 years after graduation
Description - Student debt at graduation, by level of study, class of 2015

According to the most recent National Graduates Survey, about half of the postsecondary graduates who completed their education in 2015 had student debt at graduation.

Percentage of graduates with student debt at graduation, by level of study, class of 2015
Table 1
Table summary
This table displays the results of Percentage of graduates with student debt at graduation. The information is grouped by Level of study (appearing as row headers), Percent (appearing as column headers).
Level of study PercentTable note 1
Total 50
College 48
Bachelor's 53
Master's 46
Doctorate 36
ProfessionalTable note 2 85
Table note 1

Graduates who pursued further education in the three years following graduation were excluded from this analysis.

Return to table note 1 referrer

The professional degree category is comprised of bachelor's degree and university certificate or diploma above bachelor's degree in the following fields: Law (LLB, JD, BCL); Medicine (MD); Dentistry (DDS, DMD); Veterinary medicine (DVM); Optometry (OD); and Pharmacy (PharmD, BS, BSc, BPharm).

Return to table note 2 referrer

Source: Statistics Canada, Census of Population of 2016.
Median student debt at graduation, by level of study, class of 2015
Table 2
Table summary
This table displays the results of Median student debt at graduation. The information is grouped by Level of study (appearing as row headers), Constant dollars (appearing as column headers).
Level of study Constant dollars
Total 17,496
College 11,467
Bachelor's 20,004
Master's 19,735
Doctorate 25,401
ProfessionalTable note 1 60,287
Table note 1

The professional degree category is comprised of bachelor's degree and university certificate or diploma above bachelor's degree in the following fields: Law (LLB, JD, BCL); Medicine (MD); Dentistry (DDS, DMD); Veterinary medicine (DVM); Optometry (OD); and Pharmacy (PharmD, BS, BSc, BPharm).

Return to table note 1 referrer

Source: Statistics Canada, Census of Population of 2016.

The pandemic's effects on youth employment may be felt for many years

The economic shutdown has had a huge impact on young Canadians. In April, just over 38% of young people aged 15 to 24 were working—a drop from 58% in February. By August, the employment rate had partly rebounded to just over 49%.

Recent gains for youth employment have been in part-time work. Full-time work has fallen since April and is down almost one-quarter from pre-pandemic levels, particularly reflecting job losses among young women.

The class of 2020 could lose $23,000 to $44,000 in cumulative earnings over the next five years if the youth unemployment rate reaches 28% in 2020 and $8,000 to $15,000 if the rate is 19%.

Unemployment rate for youth aged 15 to 24, February to August 2020

Description - Unemployment rate, 15 to 24 year-olds, Canada, February to August 2020
Unemployment rate, 15 to 24 year-olds, Canada, February to August 2020
  February March April May June July August
Males 11.7 15.6 25.9 29.5 28.1 26.7 25.6
Females 8.8 18.2 28.6 29.3 26.8 21.3 20.2
Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey

Since the pandemic, youth have been more likely to increase their use of substances — particularly cannabis

Poor mental health has been shown to be associated with increased use of substances during the pandemic.

Youth aged 15 to 34 continue to be most likely to have increased their use of cannabis during the pandemic—12 %.

Prior to COVID-19, 14% of Canadians reported consuming cannabis—the rate was 24% among youth aged 15 to 24.

Proportion of Canadians reporting an increased use of substances during COVID-19, by age group, July 2020

Description - Proportion of Canadians reporting an increase use of substances during COVID-19 by age group, July 2020
Proportion of Canadians reporting an increase use of substances during COVID-19 by age group, July 2020
  Cannabis Alcohol Tobacco
15 to 34 Increased 12.0 16.3 5.6
35 to 54 Increased 5.5 21.7 5.1
55+ Increased 1.5 11.5 3.9
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Perspectives Survey Series (Canadian Perspectives Survey Series), Wave 4 July 2020.

Did you know?

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Justice impacts

Police calls for service increased, while police-reported crime declined

During the first four months of the COVID-19 pandemic, 17 police services in Canada reported a 16% decrease in some criminal incidents, compared with the same period the year before.

Police reported fewer incidents of:

shoplifting (-6%), residential breaking and entering (-22%), motor vehicle theft (-5%), and assault (-11%), and sexual assaults (-27%), including by a family member.

Calls for service increased 7%:

wellness checks (+12%), domestic disturbances (+12%), and mental health-related calls, such as a person in an emotional crisis (+11%).

Police calls for service increased, while police-reported crime declined
  Toronto, Ontario, municipal (35304) Regina, Saskatchewan, municipal (47603) Vancouver, British Columbia, municipal (59023)
Actual incidents Actual incidents Actual incidents
Violations and calls for service March 2020 April 2020 May 2020 June 2020 March 2020 April 2020 May 2020 June 2020 March 2020 April 2020 May 2020 June 2020
Number
Total assaults (levels 1, 2, 3) 1,220 889 1,110 1,202 161 127 156 164 414 365 424 398
Total breaking and entering 718 616 489 482 125 125 159 112 523 559 368 309
Calls for service, domestic disturbances / disputes 1,881 1,649 1,879 1,859 371 386 427 445 514 502 497 506
Source: Statistics Canada, table 35-10-0169-01 Selected police-reported crime and calls for service during the COVID-19 pandemic, March 2020 to June 2020.

Changing landscape of vulnerability—victim services adapt to COVID-19

Social isolation, loss of employment and reduced income are factors known to increase the risk of domestic violence, and these conditions have been heightened during the pandemic.

Just over half (54%) of responding victim services reported an increase in the number of victims of domestic violence that they served between mid-March and early July.

Most victim services found ways to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic to continue serving their clients, such as enhancing cleaning measures, shifting personnel to working from home, or using technology to communicate with clients.

Perceived changes in the number of victims served since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020

Description - Perceived changes in the number of victims served since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020
Data table for Chart 1
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 1. The information is grouped by Perceived change by type of client (appearing as row headers), Increased, Stayed the same and Decreased, calculated using percent of respondents units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Perceived change by type of client Increased Stayed the same Decreased
percent of respondents
Change in total victims of crime served 31 50 19
Change in domestic violence victims served 54 29 17
Note: Because of the non-representative nature of the sample, the results in this study do not represent all victim services in Canada. Excludes respondents who reported "don't know".
Source: Statistics Canada, Impacts of COVID-19 on Canadian Victim Services.

Correctional services reduce custodial populations to mitigate COVID-19 health risks

While balancing public safety concerns, correctional institutions have taken steps to lessen public health risks associated with COVID-19 by reducing the number of people held in custody.

The measure led to an unprecedented 16% drop in the average daily count of adults in custody from February to April. Historically, monthly changes in counts are rarely more than 1%.

By early August, there had been 1,496 COVID-19 tests conducted on the federal custodial population. Close to one-quarter (24%) were positive.

The average count of adults in federal custody fell by 1%, whereas counts were down by one-quarter (25%) for those in provincial or territorial custody.

Total adult custodial population by year (2019 and 2020) and month (February, March and April)

Description - Total adult custodial population by year (2019 and 2020) and month (February, March and April)
Total adult custodial population by year (2019 and 2020) and month (February, March and April
  2019 2020
Feburary 37,967 37,976
March 38, 314 36,960
April 38, 484 31,901
Source(s): Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice and Community Safety Statistics, Adult Corrections Key Indicator Report, Daily article

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