Written by Blake Landry, Manager, Economic Research & Analysis, Niagara Economic Development
There’s no question COVID-19 has brought unprecedented disruption to business worldwide in 2020.
Niagara’s economy has also been hit relatively hard, given the region’s strength in tourism and dependence on binational tourism, trade and commerce.
Due to the pandemic, up to 30,000 people became unemployed and businesses lost an estimated $7.8 billion in revenue. To put this into perspective, Niagara’s labour force is approximately 220,000, producing a GDP of $18 billion. The resulting impact of COVID-19 on this economic engine is far worse than the recession of 2008-2009.
Fortunately, Niagara’s goods-producing sectors were affected less drastically than the services-producing sectors.
When observing data from employment, the goods-producing sectors (manufacturing, agriculture, natural resources, and construction) shed 9,800 jobs from January to May 2020, but rebounded to pre-COVID-19 levels by August. Manufacturing, alone took out 7,000 jobs from January to May, but mostly rebounded by August. The services-producing sector lost 25,400 jobs during this time, and was still down 17,400 jobs by August.