Project: 2020 COVID-19 Policy Guidance Eastern Ontario

The Eastern Ontario Leadership Council (EOLC) is working to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the regional economy. Specifically, the EOLC is interested in answering the following questions:

  • What are the short-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on employers and workers in Eastern Ontario?
  • How are employers and workers adapting?
  • What are the defining features or capacities of employers that are demonstrating greater resilience than others?

In March 2020 Limestone began working with the EOLC to develop a methodology for answering these questions. Given the current attention to the impact of and policies surrounding COVID-19, Limestone has identified key indicators and data sources for monitoring the state of the region’s economy; created a monitoring dashboard to track employment outcomes by geographic area and industry; and developed a methodology for forecasting medium-run employment changes throughout the region.

Understanding the way industries are impacted in the short-run and measuring the relative importance of industries in economic regions requires the study of observed impacts and forecasting projection of impacts based on

  • Interlinkages among industries,
  • adaptation of operational models across businesses, and
  • federal, provincial, and regional policies in response to COVID-19.

The chart below shows the relative impact by industry in terms of the percentage change in employment from February to March 2020, highlighting how businesses in different industries are impacted by COVID-19, as opposed to movement across regions in the same sector.

Figure 1: Percentage change in employment by industry and Economic Region

(Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey data, February – March 2020)

The chart below highlights the relative importance of these sectors in each economic region by showing the number of jobs gained/lost across Eastern Ontario.

Figure 2: Estimated change in the number of employed people by industry and Census Division

(Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey data, February – March 2020; Statistics Canada Census Data, 2016)

Limestone has developed the foundations of a forecasting methodology to produce a model that will generate timely estimates of employment outcomes. This model can adapt as more data becomes available. Insights from this model will guide the EOLC and its members through the process of orchestrating the re-opening and recovery of Eastern Ontario’s economy.

To learn more about Limestone Analytics COVID-19 economic projections click here.

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