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Peel Region

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

  • Peel’s Ontario Works (OW) caseloads declined for the twelfth consecutive quarter in Q1 2021.
  • Relative to Q1 2020, OW caseloads declined by 24.3 per cent in Q1 2021 to 12,113 cases. This was the steepest quarterly decline since 2007.
  • The observed decline was not typical, given the significant rise in unemployment rates during the same period.
  • The availability of federal and provincial government support programs to individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic helped to contain the expected increase in demand for Peel’s income support through Peel’s OW program.
  • As government supports expire in late 2021, OW caseloads are expected to increase in 2022.

Quarterly Changes

Relative to the comparable quarter of 2020, Peel’s quarterly average OW caseloads declined by 24.3 per cent in Q1 2021 to 12, 113 cases.

This was the sharpest quarterly decline in Peel’s OW caseloads on record, and extended the fall in Peel’s OW caseloads to 12 consecutive quarters.

In the past, the number of OW caseloads recorded in Peel increased with an increase in Peel’s overall unemployment rate. However, in 2021, the expected increase in Peel’s OW caseloads was not observed, due to the availability of government supports to impacted individuals.

As government supports expire towards the end of 2021, the demand for income support through OW is expected to increase.