Job Market: 221,500 Jobs Destroyed Across Ontario In One Year

221,500 the exact number of jobs lost in Ontario in one year from November 2019 to November 2020. As of November 2020, 9.1% of the Ontarian active population is unemployed, within which a booming number of people are experiencing long-term unemployment.

The Ontarian labour market slowly recovering, but...

It can be seen with the data provided by the below table that jobs were really impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, the strong decrease in jobs observed in Ontario between February and May 2020 can be directly related with the restriction measures taken in spring by the government, with all the economy slowing down all of a sudden.

April 2020 is the month when is registered the strongest decline in the number of jobs in Ontario:

Months Total number of jobs in OntarioChange rate
Nov. 2019
Dec. 2019
7,542,400+ 0.23%
Jan. 2020
7,558,300+ 0.21%
Feb. 2020
Mar. 2020
Apr. 2020
May 2020
Jun. 2020
6,776,500+ 5.91%
Jul. 2020
6,927,200+ 2.22%
Aug. 2020
7,069,000+ 2.05%
Sep. 2020
7,236,600+ 2.37%
Oct. 2020
7,267,200+ 0.42%
Nov. 2020
7,303,800+ 0.50%
Table showing the number of jobs in thousands and its growth rate in Ontario province over a year (Source: Statistics Canada)

We can see the trend is starting to become positive from June 2020, where we can notice a clear growth between May and June 2020 (+5.91%). Starting in June, the employment growth rate in Ontario stay positive and remains stable in October and November 2020 (respectively +0.42% and +0.50%).

However, as of November 2020, more than 221,500 jobs are missing in Ontario in comparison with one year ago.

Unemployment: where does Ontario stand in comparison with the rest of Canada?

For both Canada and Ontario, the unemployment rate trends observed were the same during the Covid-19 crisis:

Unemployment rate from November 2019 to November 2020 across Canada and Ontario (Source: Statistics Canada)

It is interesting to notice that before July 2020, Ontario's unemployment rate is always lower than Canada's one. However, from July 2020 onwards, the trend reverses. Now, Ontario's unemployment rate is 0.6 point higher than Canada's, showing that the pandemic had a harder impact on Ontario's labour market.

The job market in Ontario city per city

In the below table, we observe that Peterborough is by far, the city where the unemployment rate is the highest in Ontario (11.9%) as of November 2020. On the contrary, Brantford is the city in Ontario where the unemployment rate is the lowest in November 2020 (6.6%).

Cities of Ontario Unemployment rate in November 2020
Kitchener - Cambridge - Waterloo
Grand Sudbury
Thunder Bay
St. Catharines - Niagara
Table showing the unemployment rate in November 2020 in different cities of Ontario (Source: Statistics Canada)

More and more long-term unemployed people in Ontario

In November 2020, 184,600 people on average (a quarter of all unemployed people) experienced long-term unemployment - meaning they were unemployed for at least 27 weeks.

Months Long-term unemployed people in Ontario Change (month to month)
Nov. 2019
58,200- 17.6%
Jan. 2020
64,000+ 10%
Feb. 2020
70,700+ 10.5%
Mar. 2020
63,600- 10%
Apr. 2020
57,900- 8.9%
May 2020
67,600+ 16.8%
Jun. 2020
67,800+ 0.3%
90,500+ 33.5%
Aug. 2020
88,100- 2.7%
Sep. 2020
130,000+ 47.6%
Oct. 2020
190,300+ 46.4%
Nov. 2020
184,600- 2.9%
Table showing the number of people who are in a situation of long-term unemployment over past year in Ontario (Source: Statistics Canada)

Good to know

Unemployment is considered to be long-term when it equals or exceeds 27 consecutive weeks of unemployment.

The 3 cities where the unemployment rate is the highest across all Ontario


11.9% in November 2020


10.7% in November 2020

Windsor and Barrie

10.6% in November 2020

The 3 cities where the unemployment rate is the lowest across all Ontario


6.6% in November 2020


7% in November 2020


7.1% in November 2020


Antoine Fruchard, insurance expert and CEO at

All the Canadian provinces are facing difficulties regarding their job market due to the actual pandemic situation. However, even if the jobs were particularly affected, Canada and the Ontario province are starting to rise again. Indeed, the employment rate is growing since May and it's a really good indicator for the Canadian economy. But, there's still a long way to go before we get back to the indicators of the beginning of the year 2020, since new lockdowns and restrictions measures have been taken again in December in a significant number of cities in Ontario. We can surely hope that 2021 will be a better year regarding the job market."

Our methodology

This study has been built upon data released by Statistics Canada. All of the data set out in this study was collected by the Canadian government. We tried, throughout our study, to highlight the principal trends in Canada and Ontario regarding the employment and unemployment main facts and figures. All data must be interpreted in the context of the actual pandemic and explains the discrepancy that may exist regarding previous years' data.

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