This document provides a brief preliminary analysis of the short-run impact of COVID-19 and the government’s Covid Wage Subsidy (CWS) response on labour market flows. The authors focus on two issues. First, to examine the selectivity of the CWS, then describe the characteristics of firms and of workers who did and did-not receive subsidy payments. Second, to gauge how the pandemic and the CWS affected the labour market, then describe two aspects of the adjustment process: the job-turnover rates for workers in subsidised and non-subsidised firms; and trends in the transition rates between non-employed in subsidised and non-subsidised employment.
It was found that there was a larger drop in job turnover rates in subsidised than non-subsidised firms, but the excess turnover in subsidised firms had returned to pre-lockdown levels by September, while that in non-subsidised firms remained low.