Canadian Outlook Economic Forecast: Household Income and Employment—August 2020

The Conference Board of Canada, 13 pages, August 18, 2020
Issue briefing
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This quarterly economic forecast presents the medium-term outlook for the Canadian economy. This release focuses on household income and employment. For an overview of all major components of the economy, download the Canadian Outlook Summary.

Document Highlights

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the labour market, resulting in record job losses and sending the unemployment rate from its lowest levels in decades to a historical high in just two months.
  • Employment is recovering from the loss of 3 million jobs in March and April now that social distancing restrictions have been eased. But it will be slow to return to pre-recession levels.
  • Nearly all industries suffered major job losses, but those related to travel, large gatherings, and some segments of retail were the most affected and will be the slowest to recover.
  • The massive hit to employment, coupled with reduced hours for those who remained employed, will result in a deep decline in total labour income this year.
  • However, total household disposable income will post solid gains in 2020, thanks to government support measures, including the Canadian Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB).
  • The CERB provided crucial relief at the peak of the pandemic. But because it is supporting many lower-wage workers and has now been extended to 24 weeks, it can also act as a disincentive for some workers to return to work.

Table of Contents

  • Key findings
  • Household income and employment snapshot
  • Labour market hit hard by the pandemic
  • The pandemic’s peak damage point
  • A long road back to normal
  • Understanding the Canadian Emergency Relief Benefit

COVID-19: Get all the insights

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