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Pandemic turns tables on industries hit hardest in previous recession

Pandemic turns tables on industries hit hardest in previous recession

October 22, 2020

From Business Council of BC…

Following massive job losses in March and April, the number of people working in the province has been rebounding for five months now, punctuated by a healthy 55,000 jump in September. True, employment is still nearly 100,000 below the level in February. But at one point almost 400,000 workers had been furloughed. To see more than three-quarters of them back on the job puts B.C. on a better-than-expected recovery path.

Some historic context is helpful. A loss of 100,000 jobs represents a 3.7% decline from February. During the 2008-09 recession, employment in B.C. fell by 72,000, a 3.2% contraction. In that previous recession, young people were disproportionately impacted. The same is true today. The number of people aged 15 to 24 with jobs is currently down 11% from February. This decline is more than three times that among the core working-age cohort (aged 25 to 54). Meanwhile, for workers over age 55 employment has fully recovered. In the previous 2008-09 recession, the magnitudes of the job losses across age cohorts were broadly similar to what we have seen in 2020.

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