The Canadian economy shed a record 1.01 million jobs in March as the COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on the labour market. 

But the worst may be yet to come, according to some experts. Here’s some reaction to the latest jobs report.

 “It is pretty extraordinary stuff. Here we are knowing something quite unprecedented — something quite artificial – is happening. So we knew big numbers were about to emerge. But let’s be honest, I don’t think we were expecting a figure quite this large.”

-Eric Lascelles, chief economist, RBC Global Asset Management

“This is probably just the thin edge of the wedge. But it’s not much different than it is in [United] States. … The employment numbers are surely going to get worse before they get better. The market reaction is telling you that investors are already braced for it. So I guess that the silver lining is that a lot of the negative hit is being viewed as temporary, and has already been priced in.”

-David Rosenberg, chief economist, Rosenberg Research Associates

“As shocking as these numbers are, the big issue is how long do the shutdowns last, and thus how persistent is this spike in joblessness; that is still very much open for debate. We continue to assert that as distancing measures lighten, many jobs will return quickly...many, but clearly not all.”

Doug Porter, chief economist, BMO Capital Markets

“It sure is depressing. Behind every single lost job is a family. And from an employer perspective, these have been heartbreaking discussions.”

-Dan Kelly, president, CFIB

"Basically, we undid more than three years’ worth of employment gains in one month. This is unbelievable and unfortunately April will be more or less the same, so it's not over by any stretch of the imagination."

-Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist, CIBC

"My fear is that April's numbers could show something even more severe in terms of the impacts versus March. So the March figures are the record number for now, but I suspect that the April figures could show an even more severe decline."

- David Doyle, North American economist and Canadian market strategist, Macquarie Group