LONDON, ONT -- Statistics Canada has released the first unemployment numbers since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and unsurisingly numbers are up locally and across the country.

In February Windsor-Essex held an unemployment rate of 8.3 per cent, the highest in the country, that number has now climbed to 10.5 per cent.

While today’s numbers will show a more accurate picture of unemployment across the country, it should be noted that they do not take into account businesses that were shuttered in April.

The government says that there have been nearly a million applications for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit on Monday, the first day people could apply.

The national unemployment rate sat at 5.6 per cent in February but with millions out of work across the country that number has climbed to 7.8 per cent.

The 2.2 per cent rate jump is the highest single month increase in 40 years of comparable data.

The economy has lost more than a million jobs since the pandemic began.

People aged 15-24 have seen the biggest declines in employment.

Meanwhile the federal government is also expected to release projections on how many Canadians may be infected by the time the pandemic is over.

Both sets of information could give the country an idea of how bad the crisis could be and how long it may last.

With files from the Canadian Press.