/Evening Brief: Job stats shows 1/4 of workforce has lost job, hours due to COVID-19

Evening Brief: Job stats shows 1/4 of workforce has lost job, hours due to COVID-19

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Good evening, readers.

The Lead

The Canadian economy lost nearly two millions jobs in April in the fallout of the COVID-19 crisis.

Statistics Canada’s latest labour force survey released today shows that more than three million Canadians have been put out of work since the beginning of the pandemic.

The number of Canadians who saw their work hours cut by more than half has also increased by 2.5 million people.

Jolson Lim provided some context to the eye-popping numbers, including a breakdown of which demographics have been most harshly impacted.

After the jobs data was released, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the emergency wage subsidy would be extended beyond June 7 — the end date initially set for the program the federal government introduced to encourage employers to retain and re-hire staff they may have laid off because of the economic fallout of the pandemic — CTV News reported.

In Canada

Though jobs were lost by the millions last month, the number of new homes that began construction in April was up when compared to last year, when Quebec is removed from the picture — where there’s a temporary pause on new residential projects.

The federal Crown corporation that tracks housing said the results “reflects strong growth in multi-family (housing) starts in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Manitoba,” but that it expects the number of new projects to begin trending downward. Marco Vigliotti has more details.

The candidate pegged by many to be the favourite to become the next leader of the Conservative Party wants the Magnitsky Act invoked on Chinese officials if they’re found to have suppressed information about COVID-19. The act allows Canada to sanction foreign nationals who are responsible for human rights violations. That story is from the Canadian Press.

Peter Mackay’s candidate counterpart, Derek Sloan, is reportedly on the verge of potentially being thrown out of the Conservative caucus. The Huffington Post reported that on Friday the Tory MPs who want him kicked out of the party for questioning the loyalty of Canada’s chief public health officer had gathered the required the 25 signatures necessary for a vote. However, some MPs had withdrawn their names from the letter, according to sources.

Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains will be at the head of a new council of business leaders that will study the impacts that the pandemic has had on Canadian industry. Rachel Emmanuel has more on this.

The Rebel to Rabble Review: Rebel taking Trudeau government to court over press conference access

The Sprout: Over 1/4 of Canada’s labour force see drop in hours or unemployment amid COVID-19

The Drilldown: Trudeau dismisses claim Canadian oil and gas sector is ‘dead’

In Other Headlines

Coronavirus: Trudeau thanks Taiwan directly for ‘generous’ mask donation (Global News)

How Quebec’s long-term care homes became hotbeds for the COVID-19 pandemic (Globe and Mail)

Patricia Bovey leaves ISG to join Progressive Senate Group (The Hill Times)

Taxpayers spend $2.5-million for reconstruction of guest cottage at PM’s Harrington Lake retreat (Globe and Mail)


The U.S. economy lost 20.5 million jobs in April, the steepest plunge in payrolls since the Great Depression and the starkest sign yet of how the COVID-19 pandemic is battering the world’s biggest economy. The federal government’s monthly employment report on Friday also showed the unemployment rate surging to 14.7 per cent last month, shattering the post-World War II record of 10.8 per cent in November 1982. (Reuters)

The re-election campaign for U.S. President Donald Trump is pouring US$10 million into a television and digital campaign against presumptive Democratic presidential nominees and former vice president Joe Biden. Campaign officials say the effort will feature a mix of digital, online and television ads all taking direct aim at Biden as Republicans attempt to shift the focus away from a referendum on the president to a choice election between the two candidates. (CNN)

Much of the New England region in the northeastern U.S. is slowly emerging from a six-week lockdown, with greenhouses, golf courses and barber shops rolling out the welcome mat for customers eager to return to some sense of normalcy. But the partial reopening in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and soon Rhode Island comes amid concerns about inadequate testing and contact tracing, as well as hundreds of new cases each day. (Associated Press)

As many as 190,000 people across Africa could die in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic if crucial containment measures fail, the World Health Organization is warning. “It likely will smoulder in transmission hot spots,” said WHO Africa head Matshidiso Moeti. This patchier and slower pattern of transmission sets Africa apart from other regions, according to WHO experts. (BBC)

In Featured Opinion

Alan Freeman: Quebec gets a pandemic reality check as confusion reigns

The Kicker

Despite the lingering COVID-19 lockdown, life continues to moves on. Case in point: millions of baby turtles were spotted scampering off to sea at one of the world’s largest rookeries of the endangered species — Odisha’s Gahirmatha Beach on India’s eastern coast. A video of the annual phenomenon was shared by forest officials who say this year could see the highest number of turtles ever.

Have a great weekend!

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