Mar 25, 2020

By Jane Brown

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Jobless claims in this country during the COVID-19 crisis are said to be approaching one-million.

A published report (Globe and Mail) quotes a source familiar with the data who says the government received an estimated 929,000 employment insurance claims from March 16th to the 22nd.

This time period also coincides with a steep escalation of social isolation requirements across the country and when many business owners cut back their operations or shut down entirely.

With this dire situation as the backdrop, Ontario’s Finance Minister is due to give an economic update this afternoon at 4pm.

Rod Phillips says it will contain a one year outlook based on the economic realities caused by the new coronavirus.

Former Toronto City councillor Karen Stintz is the CEO of Variety Village. She’s also one of our Tuesday strategy panelists on Zoomer Radio’s Fight Back. Karen explained to Libby Znaimer on Tuesday, how the temporary shutdown of Variety Village has led to the layoff of 150 employees.

“The uncertainty of when we’re not going to open, for sure it takes a toll on the team,” Stintz explained, “and we’re working to keep morale up as we navigate through the situation. But the impact has been on our membership as well because our members have been impacted by their financial situation which has been impacted by job loss as well. So, we’re already feeling the ripple effects in the time that we’ve been closed.”

A new Angus Reid survey suggests those least equipped to endure the economic downturn are bearing the brunt of the layoffs related to the COVID-19 crisis.

The poll reveals 44 percent of Canadians say they or someone in their household has lost hours due to the economic downturn. Among this group, the majority say their employers are not covering any of their now disappeared wages.

Another example of just how precarious the situation is becoming, as Canadians look for financial support: one-in-three across the country (34%) say they worry their household may miss a rent or mortgage payment this month or have to start borrowing money (32%) or have already done those things.

Further, two-in-five (37%) of those who have experienced job loss in their household say they’re not equipped to handle even an extra $100 expense in the next 30 days.

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