Talent Canada
Talent Canada

Features Workforce Statistics
Canadian unemployment rate peaked in Q2 at 11 per cent: OECD

Jobs returning, unemployment expected to hit 7.7 per cent by end of 2021 - or 8.4 per cent if second wave hits


When the pandemic struck Canada in March, major grocery chains boosted front-line workers' wages on average about $2 per hour. (pixfly/Adobe Stock)

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development says the unemployment rate in Canada peaked in the second quarter of this year, topping the mark hit in the financial crisis.

In a forecast released today, the organization says the Canadian unemployment rate is projected to have peaked at 11 per cent in the quarter ended June 30, surpassing the previous peak of 8.7 per cent for the third quarter of 2009.

It says jobs should return as lockdowns end, but it still expects an unemployment rate of 7.7 per cent by the end of 2021 in a single-hit scenario and 8.4 per cent if there is a second wave of infections.

The report said the average unemployment rate among the OECD countries could rise as high as 12.6 per cent in the fourth quarter of this year in a double-hit scenario.

Advertisment

Under the single-hit scenario, the average unemployment rate would hit 11.4 per cent in the second quarter of this year before declining to 9.4 per cent in the fourth quarter.

That’s up from 5.3 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2019 before the pandemic froze the global economy.