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The gender earnings ratio improved during this time from As ofnearly six in ten women aged 16 and older Women now comprise nearly half of the U. In each state, however, women are still less likely to be in the workforce than men. In the United States, gender differences persist across sectors of employment.
It relies on data from the Labour Force Survey and proposes a year-over-year approach that compares monthly employment s from March to February with s in the same months of the year. The analysis shows that women tended to be more affected by the COVID pandemic than their male counterparts. On average over the study period, women ed for The differences by gender were disproportionately driven by employment changes in the services sector.
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For example, of the 2. The study then explores the role of firm size to find that, within the services sector, employment losses among small firms were disproportionately high and that female employees in small firms were more severely hit than were their male counterparts.
Hence, women employed in small firms represented In Canada, the labour market has been severely affected, with millions of Canadian workers experiencing either loss of employment or reduced working hours Conference Board a ; Conference Board b ; Statistics Canada ; Grekou This paper studies gender employment gaps using data from the Labour Force Survey LFS to analyze the patterns in employment by gender, industrial sector goods or services and firm size.
Note It proposes a year-over-year approach that compares employment from March to February with employment from March to February The study shows that the impact on year-over-year employment losses was consistently more severe for women than for men. Note It finds that the services sector disproportionately drove the overall employment losses and that women were more affected than men in that sector.
Employment for female, it finds that women in the goods sector were less affected than men in that sector, but this does not affect the trends because women are markedly overrepresented in the services sector. Employment in firms in the services sector with fewer than employees was the most severely hit, and women working in that firm—size category were disproportionately affected.
The study adds to the growing body of evidence on the differences by gender of the effects of the COVID pandemic. The study provides an important contribution for policy: small firms in the services sector have been a main driver of the decline in employment since March The fact that this decline has been more severe for women requires attention and could be targeted for the recovery.
Section 2 presents the employment concept of the study.
Women in the workforce
Section 3 discusses overall differences by gender. Section 4 analyzes the employment gaps across industrial sectors, while Section 5 adds the firm size dimension. Section 6 concludes. Employment is not seasonally adjusted and employees are restricted to individuals aged 15 and over living in provinces but not in the territories. All classes of work are retained as are individuals at work and individuals absent from work.
Note Because the focus of the study is on the business sector, individuals working in the public administration sector North American Industry Classification System code 91 are excluded.
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Note All other industries are retained, including those employing a ificant of the public service, such as educational and health services. Employment in April was 2. The year-over-year patterns show a steady recovery in employment from May to November especially from May to September and another dip in December and January due to the reintroduction of severe restrictions to cope with the increasing of COVID cases that had begun in September For all months except August, women were more negatively affected than men Chart 2 and Table A1 of the appendix.
Specifically, while women ed for, on average, At the onset of the pandemic, in Marchemployment losses for women ed for The losses were more balanced over spring and Employment for female September. However, from October to Februarywomen ed for Note Over the study period, women ed for The sections below further analyze these employment gaps by industrial sector and firm size.
Women are more concentrated in the services sector than men.
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In Februarythe services sector excluding public administration, as described in Section 2 represented Furthermore, women ed for The analysis of the within-sector gap in employment losses by gender due to COVID reveals different patterns. On the one hand, from March to Februaryemployment of women in the goods sector was relatively less affected than that of men, with the exception of June and February panel A of Chart 3.
On the other hand, employment of women in the services sector fell more than for men panel B of Chart 3.
With the exception of June and Februarythe year-over-year employment losses due to COVID were less pronounced for women than for men in the goods sector. A possible explanation could be that a higher proportion of female employees were employed in business, finance and administration occupations in the sector. These occupations were, in general, less affected by restrictions for onsite workplaces and offered a greater ability to work remotely during the pandemic Dey et al.
This could be explained by lockdown measures, which were more severe for service industries. Within the services sector, women were ificantly more affected panel B of Chart 4. Over the March to February period, the year-over-year employment losses for women were, on average, 1. In addition, in March and Novemberthe year-over-year drop in employment among women was more than two times that of their male counterparts 2. The next section investigates the differences by gender further by breaking down the year-over-year employment changes by size of employer and industrial sectors.
This section shows that patterns across firm size within that sector are also important.
Furthermore, women employed in small firms represented Men employed in small firms were also slightly overrepresented in total employment losses Moreover, female employees in small firms were more severely affected than their male counterparts in all months studied except August and February Table 1 suggests that the situation was different for large firms firms with or more employees.
This group of firms has been consistently underrepresented in the year-over-year change of employment after the pandemic. For example, on average, over the year following the start of the COVID pandemic, men and women employed in large firms ed for These are ificantly lower than their average share of total employment in the months prior to the start of the pandemic The changes were more consistent for medium-sized firms.
Remarkably, they posted employment gains from August to February for men and from August to January for women, relative to the same month in the year middle panel, Table 1. The trends for the goods sector are provided for reference in appendix Table A2. In general, changes in employment in that sector were more proportionate compared with what was observed in the services sector.
One of the exceptions is that men employed in small firms were the most affected and ed for, on average, about half of the year-over-year change in employment On the contrary, women employed in small firms were ificantly less affected than their male counterparts except for February Again, this pattern could be explained by differences in occupations across gender, especially among small firms and self-employed individuals in the goods sector. As discussed in Section 4, it is possible that Employment for female, being concentrated in occupations that are more administrative in nature and would therefore have had a greater ability to work remotely, were less affected by onsite restrictions than were men.
One year after the outbreak of COVID began, women have been more severely affected by employment losses than their male counterparts. This study explored the differences in the gender concentration in the goods and services sectors as well as firm size for possible explanations.
A higher concentration of women are employed in the services sector, which has experienced more severe declines in employment. This patterns could be driven by lockdown measures, which were consistently more restrictive for the services sector. In the services sector, firms with fewer than employees have been the most severely affected by employment losses during the pandemic.
Iza dp no. the impact of female employment on male wages and careers: evidence from the english banking industry,
Furthermore, because women are disproportionately represented in these firms, they were more greatly affected. The losses were relatively more proportionate in the goods sector, showing different patterns by gender.
In both sectors and for both genders, the share of changes in employment among large firms during the pandemic was lower than their pre-COVID share of employment. Hence, Employment for female gaps in employment losses by gender seem to be explained mainly by the high proportion of women working in service industries and by the gaps among small-sized firms in that sector. One possible explanation for the stark differences in employment losses by gender that was not explored in this study is family responsibilities, especially in the context of the forced daycare and school closures in several provinces during the pandemic.
For example, using data similar to those used in this study, Qian and Fuller show that, from February to Maythe pandemic exacerbated the gender employment gap among parents of school-aged children. Family responsibilities may have caused women to stay at home and possibly limited their ability to telework, particularly in the early days of the pandemic.
Nevertheless, because service industries are more conducive to telework Deng, Morissette and Messacarthe employment gap by gender in that sector had almost disappeared by November More data and analysis related to telework capacity are needed to fully assess differences in employment losses by gender in occupations in industries and industrial sectors, especially in the goods sector. An element for future study could be whether heterogeneity in terms of telework capacity within industries and across occupations contributes to differences in the patterns observed by gender and across provinces.
Another possible explanation for the differences in employment losses by gender is government support programs such as the Canadian Emergency Recovery Benefit CERBwhich may have altered work decisions for individuals, especially women, at the bottom of the wage distribution. While these policies have maintained the welfare of Canadian families, they have contributed to stalling employment recovery. Further analysis is therefore required to determine the long-term impact of these policies on employment.
Conference Employment for female of Canada. Deng, Z. Morissette, and D. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.