April 2021

Spotlight on data and research

An occupational risk/reward assessment tool for COVID-19

Different sectors of the economy present different levels of risk of exposure to the coronavirus. The COVID-19 Risk/Reward Assessment Tool measures the risk of COVID-19 exposure by occupation, based on job and worker characteristics, and the importance of different sectors to the economy, including the size of employment (pre-pandemic), change in employment, or sector centrality (how important a sector is to the functioning of all other sectors in the economy). The tool can be used to help policymakers determine which sectors, or occupation groups within sectors, to restrict or re-open as the pandemic evolves.

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Trends in between-workplace earnings inequality in 14 high-income countries

International comparison is an important way to further our understanding of the trend in income inequality and its contributing factors. This article summarizes the findings of a new report “Rising between workplace inequalities in high-income countries,” published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). Statistics Canada researchers contributed to the international collaboration that examines earnings inequality attributable to differences in average earnings across firms in 14 high-income countries.

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Foreign workers in the Canadian agriculture industry

The vast majority of foreign workers in agriculture in Canada were employed in crop production, which accounted for 88.1% of all foreign workers in agriculture in 2005 and 88.2% in 2017. One in five workers employed in crop production in 2017 was a foreign worker. The total earnings of foreign workers in agriculture grew from $232.6 million in 2005 to $911.3 million in 2017.

More than 90% of foreign workers in agriculture had a work permit under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and were in a low-skilled position. Almost half of all foreign workers in agriculture come from Mexico.

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Foreign workers in the Canadian food manufacturing industry

More than one-quarter of foreign workers in food manufacturing in Canada were employed in meat product manufacturing, and the share of those employed in this subsector remained fairly stable from 2011 to 2017 (between 28% and 28.7%). The second-largest subsector was bakeries and tortilla manufacturing, with about 20.5% of all employees in food manufacturing employed in this subsector in 2017. Dairy product manufacturing and seafood product preparation and packaging employed similar shares of workers in both 2005 (11.8% and 13.6%, respectively) and 2017 (10.3% and 9.8%, respectively).

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Research articles

Working from home: Potential implications for public transit and greenhouse gas emissions

This study estimates the potential impact of a transition to full telework capacity—a situation in which all workers who can work from home do so most of the time—on commuting times, demand for public transit, and emissions of greenhouse gases.

The study shows that, for those who would work from home, the average time spent commuting could decrease by close to 1 hour on a daily basis. The total number of public transit commutes made in a given year by workers who previously used public transit would fall by roughly one half, thereby potentially reducing demand for public transit by a significant amount. Finally, the study shows that a transition to full telework capacity could lead to a reduction in annual greenhouse gas emissions of about 8.6 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. This represents 6.0% of the direct GHG emissions from Canadian households in 2015 and 11.0% of their emissions due to transportation that year.

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Are the gaps in labour market outcomes between immigrants and their Canadian-born counterparts starting to close?

Between 2000 and 2019, new immigrants (in Canada 1 to 5 years), particularly men, had a faster increase in the employment rate than the Canadian-born population. In 2000, new immigrant men’s employment rate was 8.5 percentage points below that of Canadian-born men, and this gap was reduced to roughly 3 percentage points in 2019 when 84% of new immigrant men were employed. The employment rate was 60% among new immigrant women in 2019, compared with 83% among Canadian-born women.

Meanwhile, the gap in weekly earnings between new immigrant men and Canadian-born men changed little, and widened slightly between new immigrant women and their Canadian-born counterparts. Employed new immigrant men earned about 20% less per week than Canadian-born men in both years. The difference between new immigrant and Canadian-born women in weekly earnings increased marginally between 2000 and 2019, and new immigrant women earned 24% less than Canadian-born women in 2019.

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