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Ontario Works Caseloads

The number of cases (individuals and families) who are in temporary financial need and are provided with employment and financial assistance.

Key Highlights

  • Since peaking at over 19,200 in August 2017, average monthly Ontario Works (OW) caseloads in Peel have trended downwards to below 16,000 cases between November 2019 and February 2020.
  • The higher level caseloads may reflected the early impact of the COVID-19 shutdown and associated job losses.
  • For the quarter (January – March 2020) Peel’s average monthly OW caseloads registered its eight consecutine quarterly decline.

In March 2020, Peel’s monthly OW caseloads was 16,280, up 7.6 per cent relative to March 2019.

This was the first time in six months that Peel’s monthly caseloads exceeded 16,000 cases, possibly reflecting the early impact of COVID-induced job losses.

For the full quarter, January – March 2020, Peel’s average quarterly OW caseloads declined, representing the eighth consecutive quarterly decline observed in Peel.

Quarterly Changes

In Q1 2020, average OW caseloads recorded in Peel was 16,000 cases, 10.5 per cent below the number of cases recorded in Q1 2019.

Peel’s OW caseloads trended up since 2002 and started declining in the second quarter of 2018 as labour market conditions improved.

Due to significant job losses associated with the COVID-19 shutdown in March 2020, Peel’s OW caseloads are likely to trend upwards in upcoming months.