Federal Emergency Wage Subsidy Program to be extended beyond June

Program helps employers keep workers on the job

With April unemployment rising to a near-record high due to the Covid Crisis, Prime Minister Trudeau announced today the federal government’s emergency wage-subsidy program will be extended beyond its early-June endpoint.

The program covers 75 percent of worker pay up to $847 a week to help employers keep workers on the job in the face of declining revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

More details on the extension will come next week.

The Canadian economy lost almost two million jobs in April. The jobless rate increased to 13 percent, second only to the 13.1% observed in December 1982

However, the April unemployment rate would be 17.8%, when adjusted to reflect those who were not counted as unemployed for reasons specific to the COVID-19 economic shutdown. They were not counted as unemployed but were counted as not in the labour force because they did not look for work, presumably due to ongoing business closures and very limited opportunities to find new work.

The loss of 1,993,800 jobs comes on top of more than one million jobs lost in March, and millions more having their hours and incomes slashed.

“Canadians should be confident that we will do whatever we can to ensure that their jobs are safe as we continue to fight the global COVID-19 outbreak,” a trio of federal cabinet ministers said in a joint statement this morning in response to the jobs report.