Laid-off Canadians play waiting game as they collect federal pandemic aid

Reported By: Kelsey Johnson and Moira Warburton, Reuters

OTTAWA/TORONTO (Reuters) – Canada’s unemployment rate jumped less than expected in April because some laid-off people collect federal aid and wait to return to their old jobs when the pandemic passes, while hiring has also ground to a standstill.

The 13% April jobless figure, released on Friday, is the highest since December 1982, when it reached 13.1%, but much lower than the 18% forecast by economists. The Canadian number was also better than the 14.7% reported in the United States on the same day.

In March, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government introduced the Canada’s Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to provide income support for those forced to stay home amid the economic shutdown caused by the pandemic.

With this, the government has spent C$29 billion ($20.83 billion) to provide almost 7.8 million Canadians C$2,000 per month, official data shows.

Canada’s federal aid “is a key factor in why the Canadian unemployment rate is so markedly below the U.S, even though we were shut down every little bit as tight, if not tighter,” said Doug Porter, chief economist at BMO Capital Markets.

The unemployment figure only captures those people who are actively looking for jobs. In April some 1.1 million Canadians were counted as temporarily unemployed but not looking for work. If they had been counted, Statscan said, the unemployment rate would have risen to 17.8%.

Canada’s labor market participation rate, which measures the number of people employed and those seeking work, fell to 59.8% in April – the lowest in the data series, which began in January 1976.

Cassandra Sirois, 25, is an actor, filmmaker and bartender who hasn’t worked since March 7. Instead of applying for jobs, she chose to focus on her artistic projects while she collects the CERB because she was concerned she would catch COVID-19 if she worked.

“The first two weeks, I had a few panic attacks… I have no financial stability,” Sirois said. “I was struggling with, ‘Well, why do I have to put myself at risk because I can’t do my jobs?'”

She added the federal support allayed her financial fears.

Heather Dabrowski, 35, is an educator for the Canadian Ecology Centre, an outdoor education facility in northern Ontario.

Now that Dabrowski knows she won’t return to work soon, she considered applying for a job but decided against it as she collects federal support. She spends her days sewing masks and gardening with her mother.

“I can’t really justify looking for employment when in a month my work may be able to call me back,” Dabrowski said. “That’s the trickiest thing right now, the waiting.”

(Reporting by Kelsey Johnson in Ottawa and Moira Warburton in Toronto; editing by Steve Scherer and Franklin Paul)

Featured Image Credits:  FILE PHOTO: A woman walks past a “Help wanted” sign at a retail store in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, November 2, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie/File Photo

This content is also available in: Tiếng Việt

#seesomething, saysomething

Culture Magazin magazine always wants to listen and receive contributions from readers.
In case you submit articles about your ideas, interesting social events or hot news that you would like to share with us, email us at info@culturerus.com or inbox us at the FB page – https://www.facebook.com/culturemagazin.
Try our test reporter once. Quality articles will be selected and posted on Culturemagazin’s website and official social networking sites!
#seesomething, saysomething

Discover

Bài Liên Quan

Biden Came Close to Winning the US Election While Trump Challenged The Outcome

Over the past 24 hours, Biden has changed direction taking a lead in the polls during the U.S Presidential Elections. The Democratic...

How an international student can remain staying in Canada after graduation

What a PGWP is A PGWP (Post-Graduate Work Permit) is an open work permit that allows the students...

Trudeau cites uncertainty around pandemic as reason for budget delay

Reported by: The Canadian Press OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau isn’t saying when his government will provide a...

North American stock markets down in late-morning trading, loonie falls

Reported by: The Canadian Press TORONTO — Canada’s main stock index posted a triple-digit decline in late morning trading as...

House Sales in the GTA Increased by Nearly 25 Percent Compared to A Year Ago, Apartment Prices Falls

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Council (TRREB) said home sales in the GTA area increased by nearly 25% from a year ago.

Health Canada in “Final Stages” of AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Review

Health Canada is in its “final stages” of reviewing the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine candidate, according to the agency’s senior medical adviser Dr....

Small gatherings and reopening plans for British Columbia to begin in mid-May

On Wednesday May 6, B.C. Premier John Horgan laid out the plans and details for reopening the province as the COVID-19 cases...

This content is also available in: Tiếng Việt