A Closer Look

COVID, Jobs and Women in Canada – Bearing the brunt

Women are at the forefront of the economic crisis as yesterday’s labour force report from Statistics Canada reveals.

In March, employment among women aged 25 to 54 years fell by 298,500, more than twice the decrease among men. Nearly half of this decrease (144,000) was among women working part-time, many in low paid service and care work who were already living on the financial edge before the pandemic struck.

Women make up just under half (47%) of all workers, but account for two-thirds (63%) of all job losses.  Among workers in the core demographic aged 25 to 54 years, women represent 70% of all job losses.

The largest proportional losses were among youth (aged 15 to 24 years), accounting for almost 40% of total jobs losses in March. Young women have experienced the majority of these losses (at 59%), and over one-third of all job losses reported by women (36%).

Unemployment and Loss of Hours

Job losses of this scale have pushed up the unemployment rate among women by 3.4 percentage points over the space of a month. In March, 8.7% of all women reported being unemployed, the largest one-month increase on record.

Another 1.2 million women have seen at least half of their hours cut. This includes the many women working contract to contract, in precarious low wage jobs, as personal care assistants, cleaners and cashiers—a group that is not currently eligible for Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

Altogether, over 1.8 million women have lost their jobs or lost at least half of their usual hours of employment. Average hours of employment among all female workers dropped from 30.1 per week in February to 24.8 hours in March, a decrease of 5.3 hours. By comparison, the decrease among male workers was only 3.9 hours.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story @ Women bearing the brunt of economic losses: One in five has been laid off or had hours cut – Behind the Numbers

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