Media Release: Nearly 2.2 million Ontario workers -one in three jobs- affected by ongoing economic shutdown


[La version française suit le texte anglais.]


TORONTO, May 15, 2020 - The Financial Accountability Office (FAO) has released a new report looking at Ontario’s labour market results for April, during the ongoing economic shutdown prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ontario lost 689,200 jobs in April, bringing the province’s employment down to its lowest level since late 2009. As a result, Ontario’s unemployment rate climbed to 11.3 per cent in April, its highest level since June 1993.

Nearly all the job losses were related to the government-directed closure of non-essential activities starting in mid-March. Since then, the FAO estimates that about 2.2 million Ontario workers – nearly one in three jobs in the province – have been directly affected through either job losses (1.1 million) or sharply reduced hours (1.1 million).

To learn more, read the full report here.

Quick Facts:

  • Almost 87 per cent of the job losses between February and April occurred in the private sector (-947,500), while public sector employment (-88,700) and self-employment (-55,700) recorded relatively smaller declines.

  • Part-time workers lost jobs at more than twice the pace (-27.9 per cent) compared to full-time workers (-11.5 per cent).

  • Workers in industries with below-average wages (including wholesale and retail trade and accommodation and food services) have accounted for seven in 10 jobs lost since February.

  • Job losses have also been more pronounced for temporary workers (-28.0 per cent) and youth (-32.4 per cent).

  • Since February, job losses among women (-577,200) have been somewhat larger than for men (-514,800).

To read the full report visit or click here.

About the FAO

Established by the Financial Accountability Officer Act, 2013, the Financial Accountability Office (FAO) provides independent analysis on the state of the Province’s finances, trends in the provincial economy and related matters important to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Visit and follow us on Twitter at


For further information, please contact:
Jessica Martin l 647 527 2385 l l