The One-Sided Recession

Canada's been in a deep recession for nearly a year now, but the pain of that has not been spread evenly across workers — a new report finds that the COVID recession has hit those at the bottom of the income ladder hard, and those at the top hardly at all.

By the numbers: 

  • The largest decline in jobs was among people with an hourly wage under $13.91.
     
  • All COVID-driven job losses were among people earning $27.81 per hour or less.
     
  • Almost 350,000 new jobs were created among people earning more than $41 per hour.
Why it's happening: Low-income work tends to be in the same sectors that have been shut down by economic restrictions, like restaurants, hotels, and entertainment venues. 

Higher-income office jobs, on the other hand, have continued on much like before (sans the office, of course).

Our thought bubble: The economy cannot recover and grow at full tilt if large segments of what used to be the workforce are stuck on the sidelines. Getting the economy hot again depends on bringing those jobs back ASAP without compromising public health.