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In Tammy Schirle and Mikal Skuterud's latest Intelligence Memo, the authors highlighted an unprecedented increase in long-term joblessness. The accompanying graph shows the number of Canadians jobless for more than six months increased by 107 percent between March and September, far exceeding the peak increase of 37 percent over the same length of time in the 2008 financial crisis (December 2008-June 2009). This exceptional increase reflects the persistent impact of COVID-19 shutdowns, the ongoing impact of the health crisis, its impact on workers’ expectations of recall by past employers, and childcare challenges facing parents.

More than 1.3 million Canadians have now been out of work for more than six months, presenting a major policy challenge.