CIRHR PhD Student Kourtney Koebel and Acting Director Dionne Pohler have published new research on the impact of Canada’s COVID-19 economic shutdown in Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society.
Labor markets in crisis: The double liability of low-wage work during COVID-19 looks at how some low-wage (likely essential) workers worked more during the COVID-19 pandemic.
An earlier version of this work was published as part of the Canadian Labour Economics Forum Working Paper Series in May.
We adopt a novel identification strategy to examine the heterogeneous effects of Canada’s COVID-19 economic shutdown on hours worked across the earnings distribution. Early labor market analyses found that workers in the bottom of the earnings distribution experienced a much larger reduction in hours worked than workers in the top of the earnings distribution. Our analysis reveals a double-liability of low-wage work during Canada’s COVID-19 economic shutdown: while workers in every quintile experienced a large reduction in hours on average, significant increases in hours were only present among workers in the bottom quintile. Implications for crisis income supports are discussed.
Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society is published by the UC-Berkeley Institute for Research on Labor and Employment and editedCIRHR alumnus Chris Riddell (CIRHR PhD 2003).