Statistics Canada has released the nation's unemployment rate for March 2020. As the COVID-19 pandemic began to shut down economies around the world, the unemployment rate of Canada rose to 7.8 percent, a 2.2 percent increase.
This is the single worst increase in 40-plus years of data, and puts Canadian unemployment at its highest unemployment rate since October 2011.
The figures, economists say, are likely to get worse into April as Canadians begin to receive payments from the government in the form of benefits such as the Canada Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB).
Statistics Canada said that the number of those unemployed rose by 413,000 from February and March, mostly due to coronavirus-related layoffs of employees that are expected back at their jobs in six months. The group most impacted was 15 to 24 year olds.
A new 1,011,000 Canadians are without work. Figures show approximately 3.1 million people were affected either by job loss or reduced hours.