The toll the COVID-19 pandemic is taking on the financial health of Manitobans
WINNIPEG -- A new survey found that many Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents are still feeling the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on their jobs, even as the economy has begun to reopen.
The research, conducted by Ipsos on behalf of MNP LTD, found that nearly 20 per cent of respondents have lost their jobs, and 16 per cent are working reduced hours or receiving reduced pay.
It also found that 10 per cent of Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents said someone in their household lost their job, and five per cent of respondents said someone in their home is working reduced hours or receiving reduced pay.
Gord Neudorf, a Winnipeg-based license insolvency trustee with MNP LTD, said right now, people are concerned by job security.
“Whether their job will be there, whether their job will be there at the same level as it was before as far as hours per week or month that they’re able to work, depending on the nature of the situation or their career,” he said.
Neudorf noted there is also concern surrounding the uncertainty of the pandemic.
“I think whenever there’s uncertainty you see higher levels of worry,” he said.
“It kind of breeds doom and gloom, so to speak. And certainly that will, I think, add further pressure to anyone who going into the pandemic their budget was tight.”
When it comes to the long-term impacts of the pandemic, respondents said they were increasingly concerned.
Almost four in ten people from Manitoba and Saskatchewan said they are worried about the pandemic’s economic fallout – a 19 point increase from what they said in back in March. The survey also discovered that about 30 per cent of people reported they are concerned by the current state of Canada’s economy and the possibility of a recession.
Neudorf noted that whether people should feel optimistic or pessimistic about their financial future depends on their situation.
“I think society is sort of getting used to the new norm, so to speak, as far as what life is going to be like,” he said.
“But it depends certainly on what industry you’re working in, if you’re in the hospitality industry, if you’re working in a hotel, a restaurant, I think the concern is going to continue to be there.”
Despite the government support and initiatives that have been implemented over the last three months, Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents are still feeling worse about their financial situations than they were back in March.
About 35 per cent of respondents said they are worried about their level of debt and how they will pay their bills – marking an increase from what MNP reported in March.
Neudorf’s advice for anyone who can’t figure out what their options are if they are in a debt situation is to seek professional help.
“Everybody’s situation is different and unique, and that’s why it’s helpful to sit down, and typically within an hour or less, one of our professionals can clearly outline their options for them,” he said.
The survey was conducted between June 1 and 2 by speaking to 2,001 Canadians over the age of 18, according to Ipsos. The poll is accurate with plus-minus 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, though the credibility interval is wider among subsets of the population.
Every quarter, MNP conducts a survey to get a feeling for the consumer debt index. The poll looks at how people are feeling about their overall financial situation and ability to repay their debt.