March 2021

Spotlight on data and research

One useful labour market indicator

This Spotlight on data and research describes and demonstrates the usefulness of a single indicator–the percentage of the population employed in a paid job that is both full-time and permanent–that combines several aspects of the labour market: the unemployment rate, the labour force participation rate, the rate of self-employment, and specific aspects of job quality such as whether paid jobs are full-time or permanent. 

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Characteristics of businesses that closed during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020

In the wake of the pandemic, 12% of businesses that were active in February 2020 were closed by September 2020, and remained closed as of November 2020. The characteristics of those businesses suggest that they were less ready to weather the impact of the pandemic. They tended to be smaller and younger, have more debt, have less liquidity and be less profitable.

Compared to the businesses that closed early on in the pandemic, more recent closures had among them more businesses that were relatively stronger heading into the pandemic. This suggests that even larger businesses with stronger financial characteristics could be at risk of closing as the pandemic continues.

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Changes in employment by businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic: New insights on the experimental series of monthly business openings and closures

The majority of job loss at the beginning of the pandemic occurred in continuing businesses—70% and 82% declines in employment in March and April 2020, respectively. The nearly 2 million lost jobs in March and April 2020 combined was more than three times the employment declines due to business closures, which were more than 500,000.

However, continuing businesses contributed the most to employment growth from June to August 2020; businesses that re-opened contributed to 18% of employment growth in June and July, and 32% in August.

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Recent developments in the Canadian economy: Assessing the economic recovery from COVID-19

This article highlights changes in the pace of the economic recovery as tighter COVID-19 containment measures came into effect in late 2020 and early 2021. It provides an integrated analysis of recent changes in output, household spending, business investment, and international trade. The article also draws on recent data releases that offer insights into the financial conditions facing businesses and households. These include the 2021 non-residential capital intentions, data on business sentiment from the most recent Canadian Survey on Business Conditions (first quarter, 2021) as well as the new experimental estimates of economic well-being for households. The final section discusses advance estimates and early data releases for January 2021.

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Research articles

Canadians’ assessments of social media in their lives

This article examines the negative effects of social networking based on self-reports by respondents aged 15 to 64. Around one-fifth reported that in the previous 12 months they had lost sleep (19%), gotten less physical activity (22%), or had trouble concentrating on tasks or activities (18%) as a result of social media use. Around one-in-eight (12% to 14%) reported negative emotional experiences, including feeling anxious or depressed, frustrated or angry, or envious of the lives of others. 

Negative experiences were more prevalent among respondents under 30 years of age who also reported more intense use of social networking websites and apps.

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