Black, minority women in Canada left behind in COVID-19 job recovery

December 18, 2020

By Reuters |

Nine months into the COVID-19 pandemic, women of color in Canada still face far higher unemployment than white women, official data shows, in part because they tend to work jobs in hard-hit sectors and often care for children or relatives.

The unemployment rate for minority women was 10.5% in November, compared with 6.2% for white women, according to Statistics Canada data provided to Reuters. Women of color also had a slightly higher unemployment rate than their male counterparts, who had a jobless rate of 10.0%.

Canada has recouped more than 80% of the jobs lost at the height of the COVID-19 crisis, but many minority women have not returned to work.

“What we’re seeing … is the unequal impact of this pandemic on diverse groups of Canadians,” said Lynn Barr-Telford, an assistant chief statistician at Statscan, in an interview before the latest data was released.

“These inequities pre-date COVID… but they’ve been further exasperated by COVID,” Barr-Telford said.

Statscan added a question on race to its monthly job survey in July. The first survey found South Asian women had among the highest unemployment rates in Canada at 20.4% and Black women at 18.6%.

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