The impact of COVID-19 on rural employment up to June, 2020

Date: July 13, 2020

Author: Ray D. Bollman

Governments have forced the closure of many businesses with large impacts on employment in both rural and urban areas.

A special issue of Focus on Rural Ontario entitled COVID-19 Impact on Rural Employment: Ontario in the Canadian context up to June 2020 highlights the impact on rural Ontario with a comparison to the impact on rural employment in other provinces. This special issue is a follow-up to earlier special issues with data on employment in April, 2020 and May, 2020.

In Ontario from May to June, 2020, rural employment increased by 7.6% compared to a 6.3% increase in urban areas. By this measure, rural labour markets were closing the COVID-19 employment gap at a somewhat quicker pace, compared to the pace of employment growth in urban labour markets.

In this report, we use the same month in the previous year (i.e., in 2019) to calculate the size of the COVID-19 employment impact (or employment gap). In June, the rural employment gap was less than the COVID-19 impact in urban areas (-5.1% and -9.2%, respectively).

Large rural employment gaps were reported in the transportation and warehousing sector (-36%), in the accommodation and food services sector (-28%), in the professional, scientific and technical services sector (-21%) and in agriculture (-21%).

The Covid-19 employment gap for females has been larger than the gap for males in both urban and rural areas during the period from March to June, 2020.

Canada-level charts for rural and small town areas (outside centres of 10,000 or more) are available as:

Bollman 2020 July 10 Rural and small town employment during the COVID-19 era to June, 2020

These charts are an up-date of earlier bundles of charts for employment in April and May, 2020