Ontario Employment Outlook: September 2020 Report

Ontario’s employment continues to rebound nicely in September from the COVID-19 pandemic that hit the province hard in February and May. Though the province has gone back and forth on its pandemic restrictions, businesses continue to reopen, and employment is rising. September marked the fourth consecutive month of employment increase since the COVID-19 downturn hit in the spring. 


Here is a quick report outlining Ontario’s employment outlook summary for September 2020, compiled by our employment experts at Nova Staffing. All data is from the Ontario Government September 2020 Labour market report. 



Employment Outlook

Employment in Ontario increased by 2.4% in September, adding 167,600 new jobs. This means that of the 12.3 million people in the province, 7.2 million of them, or 59%) are employed. This is up 0.2% from August. 


Unemployment also improved in Ontario in September. There were only 757,400 unemployed people or 9.5%. This is down 0.5% from August when unemployment was at 10.6%. Overall, employment in the province continues to improve and likely will continue to do so as more businesses reopen. 


Employment by Age

Youth employment (those aged 15 to 24) was hit the hardest by COVID-19, and continues to struggle the most in the job search. Due to a number of businesses reopening, though, this age group saw an increase of 80,700 in September. Despite the gains, this age group still has the highest rate of unemployment at 23%. This is down from the 27.7% unemployment rate in August, though.


Adult employment has fared better. Adults aged 25 to 54 saw 78,600 new jobs in September and had an unemployment rate of 7.3%. Senior employment for those 55 and older is also improving slowly. There were 8,300 new jobs added in September, and unemployment for this age group was at 7.1%. 


Employment by Sector

Government restrictions during the pandemic meant certain industries were hit harder than others. Over half of the job losses from February to May were concentrated in four sectors. These continue sectors are gaining employment each month but are still below their pre-pandemic numbers. Accommodation and Food Services has bounced back the slowest and is still 13.8% under its pre-COVID numbers. This sector is followed by Business, Building, and other Support Services (-12.3%), Agriculture (-12.5%), Transportation and Warehousing (-11.3%), and Construction (-9.5%).


Most other sectors took dips during the pandemic’s height, but they weren’t hit nearly as hard. These industries have managed to grow beyond their pre-pandemic numbers. Forestry, Fishing, Mining, Quarrying, and Oil was 8% above its old levels in September. It was followed by Manufacturing (+2.3%), Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate (+0.9%), Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (+0.4%), and Educational Services (+0.4%).


Employment by Region

Employment gains continued to vary depending on the region in September. Urban areas such as Toronto were hit the hardest during COVID-19 but continue to bounce back. Oshawa had the highest employment increase in September, increased by 4% (8,300 jobs), followed by St. Catharine & Niagara (+3.5%), Toronto (+3.2%), Thunder Bay (+3.2%), Brantford (+2.2%), and London (+1.7%).


If you’re a job seeker or a business looking for hiring solutions, contact our employment experts today! Nova Staffing is one of the best employment agencies in Brampton and the GTA and has a team ready to help with all of your staffing needs. We boast over 100 years of combined industry experience, and we have professionals that speak English, French, Hindi, Punjabi, Mandarin, Arabic, and Urdu. 


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