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Canadian trucking industry hard hit by job losses

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Recently released Canadian federal jobs statistics showed that Canada’s transportation and warehouse sector lost over 100,000 jobs in April or about 10% of total workers. 

This news came despite a rebound in truckload volumes with the Outbound Tender Volume Index-Canada, an important indicator of Canada’s truckload volumes, climbing 35% over its April low and continuing to surge upward.

As with soaring unemployment in the U.S., Canada reported a loss of 3 million jobs since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic across every sector of its economy. To deal with the problem, the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) is asking the Canadian government for added help in dealing with the worst of the current health crisis.

One possible solution is to broaden the government’s emergency wage subsidy program for businesses affected by the pandemic. Many Canadian carriers did not qualify for the original subsidy and CTA is lobbying officials to change the current qualifications to cover more carriers.

Another solution being pushed by CTA is a deferral of payroll taxes for trucking companies as they attempt to deal with low spot rates, lane imbalances, and delayed payments from hard-hit retail businesses. 

Although April’s jobs data revealed an economy verging on the disaster, some experts believed it could have been worse. These numbers also came in before the emergency wage subsidy program, which only started on April 27. 

May’s numbers could be stronger as the subsidies take effect. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said the subsidy program will be extended well into the summer. 

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