The pandemic has accelerated a polarization of jobs that has become a structural trend in the Canadian economy. Previous Cardus research has shown that this polarization of the labour market between low- and high-skilled occupations, with a declining share of jobs available for mid-skilled workers, has led to an “hourglass economy.”
Yet, even while the share of the labour force employed in professional occupations rises, the working class retains the largest share of workers in the Canadian economy, making them an important political economy constituency. But who is the working class in Canada? This paper seeks to answer this question by proposing a modern taxonomy of the workforce and a picture of the working class that draws on a rich body of demographic, economic, and labour-market data.