In addition to its serious health consequences, COVID-19 causes Canadians to worry about their financial health, according to a survey commissioned by the Angus Reid Institute.
The results suggest that the virus epidemic is already having a major impact on the finances of Canadians.
More than a third (34%) of respondents said they fear missing rent or mortgage payments this month due to the virus, which has led to widespread layoffs and a drastic reduction in the amount of paid work available for those fortunate enough to have kept their jobs.
Among those surveyed, 44% said they had lost their jobs themselves since the start of the crisis, or someone else who lives in their household did so. An additional eighteen percent say they expect to lose their jobs soon.
The polling firm said it conducted the online survey from March 20 to 23 using “a representative random sample of 1,664 Canadian adults from the Angus Reid Forum”. Statisticians say that a sample of this size would have a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
Even among those who are currently working, more than half say it is only a matter of time before their hours are reduced.
Companies are cutting back because of quarantines and the corresponding drastic reduction in demand for products and services. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business said on Monday that a third of Canada’s small businesses could not survive next month without massive government assistance.
“More than half of small businesses have started to lay off staff, and a quarter said they have been forced to lay off all their staff,” said CFIB President Dan Kelly.
These layoffs are already piling up. The federal government said last week inundated with record number of new EI claims since the start of the crisis, and the numbers have increased since then.
“For the entire month of March last year, there were approximately 150,000 applicants,” Scotiabank economist Derek Holt said in a note to clients on Wednesday, “compared to 929,000 a week alone. last “.
This number is likely to increase in the coming weeks as “many small businesses will be forced to make additional layoff decisions in the coming days,” said Kelly.