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COVID and Working from Home in Canada – A large increase with Approximately 4.7 million Canadians who do not usually work from home did so

Approximately 4.7 million Canadians who do not usually work from home did so during the week of March 22 to 28.

Chart 1
Almost five million workers who don’t usually work from home did so during the week of March 22 to March 28, 2020

When those who usually work from home are included, 4 in 10 workers (39.1% or 6.8 million) worked from home during the week of March 22. About the same number (38.5% or 6.7 million) worked at locations other than home. In addition, approximately 2 in 10 workers (22.4% or 3.9 million) were absent from their jobs, with 2.8 million of them being absent for reasons related to COVID-19.

Working from home more common for those with higher levels of education
Developing a full understanding of the number of Canadians working from home is essential for measuring Canada’s capacity to support ongoing economic activity, while protecting the health and safety of both workers and the greater public.

An important finding of the March LFS was that employment declines were greatest in occupations—such as those in sales and services—which require face-to-face interactions or where working from home is not practical. In contrast, employment was little changed in several broad occupational categories for which previous Statistics Canada data suggest telework is more feasible, including management, natural and applied sciences, and business, finance and administration.

Based on results from the Canadian Perspectives Survey Series 1: Impacts of COVID-19, those who do not normally work from home but did so during the week of March 22 were much more likely to have a bachelor’s degree or higher (58.4%) than those who had continued to work outside the home (21.5%) and those who were absent from work (26.9%). This provides further evidence that working from home is more feasible for workers employed in professional or managerial occupations, which typically require higher levels of education.

The April LFS will provide further information on the sustainability of working from home and whether employment losses in March, concentrated in public-facing jobs in the services-producing sectors, will spread to other occupational categories.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story @ The Daily — Canadian Perspectives Survey Series 1: COVID-19 and working from home, 2020

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