empty-desks-thumbnail-1.png
empty-desks-thumbnail-1.png This article is more than 7 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

Our journalism is powered by readers like you.

We’re an award-winning non-profit news organization that covers topics like social and economic inequality, big business and labour, and right-wing extremism.

Help us build so we can bring to light stories that don’t get the attention they deserve from Canada’s big corporate media outlets.

 

Donate
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-2023-02-04-danielle-smith-corporate-giveaway-lobbyist Analysis

‘It Was Violent’: People’s Commission Report Shines Light on Violence, Harassment and Hate Crimes During ‘Freedom Convoy’

Related Stories

Analysis

Danielle Smith is Pushing The Same $20 Billion Corporate Giveaway She Pushed as a Corporate Lobbyist

View the post
News

Amazon Ordered to Pay $5 Million After Over a Thousand Injuries Involving Ontario Warehouse Workers

View the post
News

A Media Start-Up Claimed It Was the Future of Local News in Canada. Now It’s Firing Journalists.

View the post

Explainers

Human rights & inclusion

Amira Elghawaby

Here’s The Problem With Hoping Corporations Will Be Socially and Environmentally Responsible On Their Own

View the post
Politics & strategy

Jeremy Appel

The battle of the PACs in Calgary’s municipal election

View the post
Politics & strategy

Jeremy Appel

27 Different Candidates are Vying to be Calgary’s Mayor. Here Are the Biggest Issues at Stake.

View the post
Newspapers always have a business section – why not a labour section? We’ve launched a free newsletter covering labour issues in Canada.
Get Canadian Labour News You Won't Find in Corporate Newspapers.
We’ve launched a free newsletter covering labour issues in Canada.
Get Canadian Labour News You Won't Find in Corporate Newspapers