The COVID-19 pandemic is a good example of an economic downturn that affected Canadians in different ways.
Most people who have been able to work remotely during the pandemic have kept their jobs, and their income has changed little or not at all. At the same time, the public health measures that were introduced to curb the spread of the virus particularly affected certain sectors, such as the catering, accommodation, travel and entertainment sectors, as many workers lost their usual sources of income. Low-paid employees suffered the most from the effects, especially women and youth.
The extraordinary support measures taken by the federal government during the pandemic have also had mixed effects. Some people have had enough financial assistance to make up for their lost salaries, but not all of them. Similarly, some households that had fewer opportunities to spend were able to reduce their debt, while others increased it.
By early 2022, most of the pandemic’s disproportionate effects on employment have been neutralized. In addition, regardless of their income level, families are, on average, in a better financial position than they were before the pandemic.
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