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Canadian women continue to exit the labour force

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Desjardins, D., & Freestone, C
Publication Date: 
19 Nov 2020

Excerpted from introduction

Midway through 2020, we warned that Canadian women had paid—and would continue to pay—a heavier price than men during the pandemic-induced recession. In a matter of weeks during the spring, COVID-19 rolled back the clock on three decades of advances in women’s labour-force participation, setting Canada’s economy up for a slower recovery than might otherwise be the case. Despite notable rebounds in overall employment and GDP in recent months, the pandemic continues to cloud the future for many industries in which women had significant representation. What’s more, the pandemic has made the family responsibilities that women typically shoulder that much heavier.

That’s set up a divergent, and troubling, trajectory that’s seen Canadian women continue to retreat from the workforce even as Canadian men more than make up for ground lost early in the pandemic.