The pandemic has cost many Canadians their jobs. In the automotive world, new car dealerships were particularly hard hit in April, with employment down by more than 60,000 or 38% from 2019.
DesRosiers Automotive Consultants reports the high profile motor vehicle manufacturing industry witnessed employment fall an average of 20.5% in the first half of 2020, and as much as 30.7% in May.
The aftermarket too did not escape with automotive repair and maintenance shops down 24.5% in April (losing over 27,000 jobs) while auto parts and accessories stores fell 19.4%.
“April and May look to have been the nadir of the downturn” said Andrew King, managing partner at DesRosiers.
June definitely marked a step forward terms of employment with the industry gaining back over 69,000 positions over May but remaining well below 2019 levels.
Statistics Canada reported last week that unemployment fell 0.7% in August to 10.2%, which is a marked improvement compared to a record level 13.7% set in May 2020.
The Canadian unemployment rate was as high as 13.7% in May, which is an all-time record. The number of people employed in Canada is now within 1.1 million of the pre-Covid-19 February level. StatsCan stresses it is important to remember that during the last recession (2008-2009), it took almost nine years for unemployment to return to its pre-recession rate.