It took only hours for September’s sparkling job numbers to become yesterday’s news.
Statistics Canada reported?Friday morning that employment had jumped by a greater-than-expected 378,000 positions last month. The jobless rate had also fallen to nine per cent, high but far lower than May’s peak of 13.7 per cent.
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Then Ontario, stung by a rising number of COVID-19 cases, announced in the afternoon that it would follow in Quebec’s footsteps by closing gyms, movie theatres and casinos in an attempt to turn back the virus. Indoor dining at restaurants and bars would be banned, Ontario said, with the measures going into effect on Saturday in Ottawa, Peel Region and Toronto.
The future of the economy had become pegged once again to the future spread of COVID-19. It wasn’t entirely unexpected either, as days earlier Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, said daily reported COVID-19 cases continued to “increase steeply,” with numbers for the past seven days up approximately 40 per cent compared to the previous week.