Les études suggèrent que la pandémie peut générer des avantages à long terme pour les femmes et les hommes. Les femmes pourraient voir leurs responsabilités ménagères réduites si les hommes continuent d’assumer une plus grande part des tâches parentales. En revanche, de nombreux hommes reconnaissent aujourd’hui les avantages de passer plus de temps avec leurs enfants. Ces changements peuvent être durables si la pandémie a rendu les entreprises plus disposées à offrir des arrangements de travail flexibles, tant en termes de temps que de lieu de travail. En effet, si ces tendances tendances se poursuivent, la participation future au marché du travail pourrait s’améliorer davantage des femmes ayant de jeunes enfants qui, bien avant le COVID-19, assumaient de manière disproportionnée la charge de la production domestique.
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On March 5, 2020, Alberta reported its first case of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Shortly after, extensive measures were taken to “flatten the epidemic curve” and contain the spread of the virus: schools and daycares closed on March 15, a state of public health emergency was declared on March 17, and the closure of nonessential businesses and services was mandated on March 27. The impacts of these social distancing efforts on Alberta’s labour market were large and immediate. In a year-over-year comparison, data from April 2020 shows that employment in Alberta declined by 15.5 per cent, while the unemployment rate increased to 13.4 per cent (Alberta Treasury Board and Finance 2020).
As the government started to relax public health restrictions over the summer months, Alberta’s labour market showed promising signs of recovery (Business Council of Alberta 2020). However, by mid-September 2020, COVID-19 cases began to rise again, with Alberta’s COVID-19 cases reaching new daily record highs throughout fall 2020 (see Figure 1). A second state of public health emergency was declared on November 24,1 which was followed by further social and economic restrictions on December 8.2 Similar to the first round of social distancing measures, these restrictions brought further turmoil to Alberta’s
labour market, including reduced working hours, increased unemployment, or complete non-participation in the labour force all together.
In this chapter, we use data from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey (LFS) to explore the health of Alberta’s labour market amid the twin-crises of low energy prices and the crippling COVID-19 pandemic. To get a sense of the differential impacts of these crises across socioeconomic groups, we examine their impact on employment, hours worked, part-time employment and labour force participation across gender, parental status, and age. Because researchers and policymakers in Canada have been particularly concerned about the potential gendered effects of the COVID-19 crisis (Alon et al. 2020; Montenovo et
al. 2020; Stevenson 2020; Qian and Fuller 2020)3, in our main analysis, we focus on whether and to what extent the pandemic produced differential labour market effects for women versus men (with and without children).
We first present a descriptive analysis of labour market outcomes before and during the COVID-19 pandemic by age, gender, education, parental status, and geography. While labour market losses are widespread, our analysis shows that women, individuals aged between 15 and 29, individuals with lower educational achievement, and residents of the tourism and hospitality-heavy regions in the Rockies were disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 economic shutdowns. Second, we perform a regression analysis showing that: i) women were more adversely impacted than men at the onset of the pandemic; ii) differences between men and women stabilized in the summer months; and iii) the stabilization of gender differentials persisted into December 2020. Crucially,
for policymakers, we also find that parents with young children in Alberta experienced a large deterioration in employment during both the first and second waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, we provide evidence of a staggering decline in cumulative formal, paid hours worked for parents, irrespective of gender.