Only four out of 10 Canadian workers can feasibly work remotely: Statistics Canada

By: Thomas I. Likness
EBC News Service

(Eagle News) — An analysis by Statistics Canada suggests more than half of Canadian workers are in jobs that cannot be reasonably performed remotely.

In a report, the agency suggests in the post-pandemic economy, about four in 10 Canadian workers are in jobs that can plausibly be done at home.

It says most jobs in finance and insurance, educational services, and professional, scientific and technical services can potentially be done remotely.

But people employed accommodation and food services, health care, agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting have almost no telework capacity.

Demographics play a role as well.

Financially vulnerable workers appear to have the lowest telework capacities.

These would be those who are under the age of 25 and who have a high school diploma or less than a high school diploma.

Since these characteristics are often associated with minimum-wage and low-income workers, the pandemic might be reducing work hours to a greater extent in that group than among other workers.

Ethnicity a factor

Ethnic origin is also a factor.

In its monthly employment report, Statistics Canada noted Filipino Canadian workers aged 15 to 69 were among the least likely to work from home.

That’s because many worked in industries, such as manufacturing, and health care, day care and social assistance, where it is less feasible to work from home.

On the other hand, larger proportions of Chinese Canadian and South Asian Canadian workers were able to work remotely.

They tended to be employed in professional, scientific, and technical services, and finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing.

Statistics Canada also noted an increase in telework is likely to have far-reaching social and economic implications.

They include reduced traffic congestion and air pollution and perhaps, increases in online learning in colleges and universities.

But the growth in telework also raises the question of the effect it will have on workers’ mental health, their work-life balance and productivity.
(Eagle News Service)