Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Gender Disparities in the Labour Market? Examining the COVID-19 Pandemic in Alberta

John, Baker and Kourtney, Koebel and Lindsay M., Tedds (2012): Gender Disparities in the Labour Market? Examining the COVID-19 Pandemic in Alberta. Forthcoming in: The School of Public Policy Publications , Vol. 14, (9 June 2021)

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Since March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted Canada’s labour market. Following the mandated closures of schools, daycares and “non-essential” businesses in every province, a large and immediate unemployment shock was documented across the country. While signs of recovery began during the summer months, the re-emergence of the virus in the fall—and the extensive social distancing measures that ensued—merits an investigation of a possible K-shaped recovery, particularly as the Alberta government continues to debate whether the province’s economic recovery plan should include gender-targeted policies. This paper provides a detailed examination of various labour force statistics by gender and parental status using data from Alberta up to and including the December 2020 release of the Labour Force Survey (LFS). We show that Alberta’s labour market recovery over the summer months has persisted, and that there are no statistically significant differences in the labour market outcomes of men and women. We do, however, find significant differences between parents and non-parents, irrespective of gender. We discuss implications for Alberta’s economic recovery plan.

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