Filipinos in Canada report high job losses in pandemic
August 5, 2020 at 10:42 am

RJ Aquino, director of Tulayan Filipino Diaspora Society, says many Filipinos are essential workers, yet many report losing jobs. YOUTUBE

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Filipinos responding to an online Statistics Canada survey reported huge job losses or reduced hours due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Some 36,000 Canada residents answered an online Statistics Canada questionnaire on  the impact of the pandemic between May 26 and June 8.

Of Filipino respondents, 42% reported that they had lost jobs or had their hours cut, compared with just 34% of whites.

“One of the most alarming things is the juxtaposition, which is that many Filipinos are considered essential workers, and yet they’re still experiencing (COVID-19) financial hardship,” RJ Aquino, director of the Tulayan Filipino Diaspora Society, told Vancouver Sun.

Statistics Canada, however, cautions that its online survey on the pandemic’s economic effects lacks the random sampling and parameters that can accurately reflect the general jobs picture.

Premier John Horgan has asked the Human Rights Commission and information and privacy commissioners to provide guidelines for statistical studies of the pandemic’s economic impact. There is a demand for more race-based data to guide responses to the pandemic because it has affected different communities unevenly, according to the Vancouver Sun.

Canada’s 2016 census shows more than 837,000 people of Filipino descent in the country. Before the pandemic, Statistics Canada reported an 8.5% poverty rate for Filipino Canadians. Smaller groups like West Asians, which include people from the Middle East and countries such as Iran, reported higher job losses at 47%.

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