empty-desks-thumbnail-1.png
empty-desks-thumbnail-1.png This article is more than 5 years old

Canadian women dropped out of the workforce in record numbers in 2014

This isn’t a good sign. After decades of increasing participation in the Canadian workforce, a record number of women dropped out in 2014, according to Statistics Canada data compiled by CUPE economist Toby Sanger. Over 80,000 women dropped out of the workforce last year alone, Sanger adds that, “the unemployment rate for women … would […]

This isn’t a good sign.

After decades of increasing participation in the Canadian workforce, a record number of women dropped out in 2014, according to Statistics Canada data compiled by CUPE economist Toby Sanger.

Over 80,000 women dropped out of the workforce last year alone,


lf-gainslosses-industry-gender.jpg

Sanger adds that, “the unemployment rate for women … would have risen from 6.4 to 7.3 per cent” last year had women’s participation rates not declined — “this would have been the highest annual rate in 15 years and even higher than it was during the 2009-10 recession years.”

This is strange, Sanger points out, as previous declines coincided with recessions but, “the decline last year comes five years after the recession was supposedly over.” The previous one-year dropout record for women was 67,000 in 1992.

So what caused the decline?

It’s not retirement and it’s not fertility — the biggest declines in workforce participation were middle-aged women aged 40-54, and declines were recorded in every province across Canada.

Sanger goes on to explain:

“Occupations with the greatest decline in female employment were clerical (-36,000); trades, transport, equipment operators and construction (-14,000); professional occupations in health such as nurses (-16,000); and middle management (13,000). Most of these aren’t higher paid occupations with early retirement benefits.
 

“The industries with the biggest declines of women in their workforce in 2014 were manufacturing, trade, transport, finance and insurance, business and support services, and other and unclassified services. In total the female labour force declined by more than 80,000 in these industries, while the male labour force increased by an almost identical amount in these same industries. Employment trends in these industries follow a similar pattern.”

Although women saw gains in some industries (with the biggest gains in “accomodation and food”), those gains were outpaced by declines in “heavily male-dominated industries”:

lf-gainslosses-industry-gender.jpg

So what’s the solution? Sanger makes the following points:

 

 Photo: Used under Creative Commons Licenses

Help us protect Canadians by holding the powerful accountable.

Journalism is an important public service. That’s why PressProgress is prioritizing stories aimed at keeping Canadians safe and holding the powerful accountable during the coronavirus pandemic.

Please consider supporting our award-winning non-profit news organization so we can keep making a positive impact for Canadians.

 

Support Our Journalism
PressProgress
PressProgress is an award-winning non-profit news organization focused on uncovering and unpacking the news through original investigative and explanatory journalism.

Most Shared

thumb-2021-02-020 News Brief

Doug Ford, In the Middle of a Deadly Pandemic, Calls Paid Sick Days a ‘Waste of Taxpayers Money’

Related Stories

News Brief

Authorities Dropped Criminal Probe Into Canada’s Biggest Newspapers Despite Evidence They Plotted to Shut Down Local Newspapers

View the post
News

Oil Executives Pressured Regina, Saskatchewan to Withdraw Motion Banning Public Buildings From Being Named After Oil Companies

View the post
Explainer

Why Justin Trudeau and Jagmeet Singh Are Taking Very Different Positions on Private, For-Profit Long-Term Care

View the post

Explainers

Politics & strategy

Tom Parkin

Why Justin Trudeau and Jagmeet Singh Are Taking Very Different Positions on Private, For-Profit Long-Term Care

View the post
Human rights & inclusion

Amira Elghawaby

Why The Full Impact of Hate Groups on Targeted Communities Is Not Captured By Hate Crime Statistics

View the post
Power and democracy

Andrea Reimer

How The COVID-19 Pandemic Revealed Canada’s Most Powerful People Have Less Power Than They Think

View the post