Wage-subsidy program to be extended as steep job losses continue

By The Canadian Press

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Friday that the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) will be extended beyond its early-June endpoint.

The program covers 75 per cent of worker pay up to $847 a week to try to help employers keep employees on the job in the face of steep declines in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an announcement in Ottawa, Trudeau says more details on the extension will come next week.

The Canadian economy lost almost two million jobs in April, a record high, as the closure of non-essential services to slow the spread of COVID-19 forced businesses to shutter temporarily.

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

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate soared to 13 per cent as the full force of the pandemic hit compared with 7.8 per cent in March.

he national unemployment rate was 13.0 per cent in April. Statistics Canada also released seasonally adjusted, three-month moving average unemployment rates for major cities. It cautions, however, that the figures may fluctuate widely because they are based on small statistical samples. Here are the jobless rates last month by city (numbers from the previous month in brackets):

  • Ottawa 6.3 (4.9)
  • Kingston 7.9 (5.7)
  • Peterborough 7.7 (6.7)
  • Oshawa 8.5 (7.8)
  • Toronto 7.9 (6.0)
  • Hamilton 7.5 (5.7)
  • Catharines-Niagara 9.9 (7.8)
  • Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo 7.8 (6.0)
  • Brantford 9.4 (5.9)
  • Guelph 8.6 (5.3)
  • London 8.9 (5.8)
  • Windsor 12.9 (10.5)
  • Barrie 9.1 (5.7)
  • Sudbury 6.8 (5.6)
  • Thunder Bay 8.3 (6.1)
  • Winnipeg 7.7 (5.5)

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