Canadian Automotive Employment – 1H 2020

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Canadian Automative employment percentage change in the first half of 2020. Credit: Statistic Canada SEPH Employment and DesRosiers Automative Consultants Inc.

Amidst the lockdowns and the ongoing pandemic, employment in numerous industries fell precipitously in the first half of 2020, and the automotive sector was no exception.

Average employment for the first half of 2020 as a whole—including the pre-pandemic months—fell 13.8% versus 2019, with April employment down 25.5% or more than 170,000 jobs from 2019.

“April and May look to have been the nadir of the downturn” commented Andrew King, Managing Partner of DAC. “Employment was badly impacted across the industry in those months, with auto dealers being particularly hard hit in April with employment down by more than 60,000 or 38% from 2019.”

The high profile motor vehicle manufacturing industry witnessed employment fall an average of 20.5% in the first half of 2020, and as much as 30.7% in May. The aftermarket too did not escape with automotive repair and maintenance shops down 24.5% in April (losing over 27,000 jobs) while auto parts and accessories stores fell 19.4%.

June definitely marked a step forward terms of employment with the industry gaining back over 69,000 positions over May but remaining well below 2019 levels.


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