Foodservice employment sheds 72,000 jobs in the past two months

Published December 10, 2020

For the second consecutive month, net employment fell in Canada’s foodservice and accommodation industry.  In October, employment declined by 48,200 jobs, and by a further 23,800 jobs in November.  With the recently announced shutdown of on-premise dining at restaurants and bars in Alberta to contain the virus, combined with the continued on-premise closures in other parts of the country, employment is expected to fall again in December.

Since the start of the pandemic, the foodservice and accommodation industry has seen the largest drop in employment. As of November, net employment in the foodservice and accommodation industry remains more than 260,000 jobs below pre-COVID-19 levels, despite some improvement over the summer.  On a percentage basis, total employment for all industries has recovered 81% of all the lost jobs between March and April, while the foodservice industry has recovered just 57%.


Overall, net employment across all industries increased by 62,100 in November, with strong gains in retail and wholesale trade (+27,100) and construction (+26,300). As a result, the overall unemployment rate slipped to 8.5% in November compared to 8.9% in October. The slow recovery in jobs in the foodservice and accommodation sector, however, means that it will take some time for youth employment to recover.  In November, the youth unemployment rate (15 to 24-year-olds) remained significantly above pre-COVID levels at 17.4% compared to the adult unemployment rate of 7.1%.

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