More than four in 10 (41 per cent) Canadian businesses laid off staff in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new survey by Statistics Canada.
The survey, which polled representatives from more than 12,600 Canadian businesses, also found 38 per cent of businesses said they’ve reduced staff hours or shifts. Nearly one-fifth (18 per cent) said they laid off 80 per cent or more of their staff. And, among the employers that said they laid off at least one employee, 45 per cent laid off 80 per cent or more of their staff.
Companies in the accommodations and food services sector reported the largest layoffs, with 69 per cent saying they’ve laid off at least 80 per cent of their staff.
However, 27 per cent of survey respondents said they haven’t implemented any staffing changes in the wake of the pandemic, with more than half (54 per cent) of employers in the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sectors reporting no changes.
Employers also reported that remote work has become more prevalent in their workforces. Almost half (48 per cent) of respondents said at least 10 per cent of their workforce was working remotely as of March 31, more than doubling the level reported on Feb. 1, when just 20 per cent of employers said the same.
Organizations in the information and cultural industries (85 per cent), management of companies and enterprises (73 per cent) and finance and insurance (70 per cent) sectors were more likely to say that more than half of their workforce was working remotely as of March 31.