Length of Average Work Week Lowest on Record According to Latest StatsCan Data

Statistics Canada has reported that the average work week for those paid by the hour has decreased to the lowest level on record amid the coronavirus pandemic.

According to data from Statistics Canada’s Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours, the average number of working hours per week has fallen by 1.1 hours to a record low of 29.5 hours for the month of March. such a low level has not been witnessed on record. Although the average work week length decreased, weekly paychecks on the other hand increased to $1,053 on average.

However, the paycheck data is skewed in the sense that the extensive rise in unemployment during the same time period has been predominantly concentrated among those in the lower-paid industries. Thus, the average weekly income is in a sense, dis-proportionally inflated.

Furthermore, data from the Canada Revenue Agency shows that a total of 914,500 jobs were lost in March, with job losses coming from all provinces and a variety of sectors. The majority of unemployed Canadians were those that had worked in the food services and accommodation sector, with the loss of 256,609 positions. Second highest number of job losses by sector was the retail industry, which accounted for a total of 103,712 jobs. All together, these sectors account for approximately 41% of all job losses.

The sectors that have been the least affected by the coronavirus pandemic have been the insurance, finance, and public administration sectors, which had experienced essentially no changes. This can be attributed to the fact that many of these positions are relatively flexible, and do not require close contact with others. Thus, employees in these sectors transitioned to working remotely with relative ease. In addition, the earnings for these particular sectors have increased by 4.7 in March.

For the healthcare sector, the employment numbers remained relatively unchanged, but overtime hours for those essential workers has increased by 25%. Those employment numbers for those in community care facilities for the elderly were also unchanged, with an overtime pay increase of approximately 19.3%. Conversely, those employed in non-essential health care sectors such as non-emergency dental services had an increase of approximately 62,000 unpaid workers.

Information for this briefing was found via CBC News and Statistics Canada. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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