Economic impact of COVID-19 among Indigenous people

This article uses data from a recent crowdsourcing data initiative to report on the employment and financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Indigenous participants. It also examines the extent to which Indigenous participants applied for and received federal income support to alleviate these impacts. As Canada gradually enters a recovery phase, the article concludes by reporting on levels of trust among Indigenous participants on decisions to reopen workplaces and public spaces.

Study: The changing nature of work in Canada amid recent advances in automation technology

While automation has changed the nature of work in Canada over the past few decades, this change was very gradual, and did not accelerate with the very recent developments in artificial intelligence.

The results of this study reveal that the share of Canadians working in managerial, professional and technical occupations increased from 23.8% in 1987 to 31.2% in 2018, while the share employed in service occupations increased more moderately from 19.2% to 21.8% over the same timeframe. Jobs in both of these occupational groups are generally difficult to automate.

Meanwhile, the share of workers employed in production, craft, repair and operative occupations (more automatable tasks) went from 29.7% in 1987 to 22.2% in 2018, while the share employed in sales, clerical and administrative support occupations also fell over the period (from 27.3% in 1987 to 24.9% in 2018). These jobs are generally more amenable to automation.

Economic impact of COVID-19 among visible minority groups

Since visible minorities often have more precarious employment and higher poverty rates than the White population, their ability to adjust to income losses due to work interruptions is likely more limited. Based on a large crowdsourcing data collection initiative, this study examines the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on visible minority groups.

Among the crowdsourcing participants who were employed prior to work stoppages, Whites and most visible minority groups reported similar rates of job loss or reduced work hours. However, visible minority participants were more likely than White participants to report that the COVID-19 pandemic had affected their ability to meet financial obligations or essential needs, such as rent or mortgage payments, utilities, and groceries.

COVID-19 and support for seniors: Do seniors have people they can depend on during difficult times?

In an effort to avoid the spread of COVID-19, Canadians are engaging in physical distancing to minimize their social contact with others. However, social support systems continue to play an important role during this time. In particular, seniors living in private households may depend on family, friends or neighbours to deliver groceries, medication and other essential items to their homes. This study examines the level of social support reported by seniors living in private households.