The lumber industry has been caught off guard by Canadians’ financial resilience during COVID-19, resulting in shortages that are derailing home improvement plans.
According to data from Statistics Canada, 5.5 million Canadian workers have been affected by shutdowns, either through a drop in employment or COVID-19 related absences. The unemployment rate has gone from 5.6 per cent before the pandemic to 12.3 per cent.
Despite the devastation to the job market, spending on home repairs and renovations fell only 5 per cent in May, compared to January.
“The lumber industry was not expecting this as can be seen by their production. U.S. lumber production was up an average 6 per cent year-over-year per month [from January to March] but dropped 7 per cent year-over-year in April and Canadian production was down 8 per cent year-over-year in the first three months of 2020