COVID,  Employment & Unemployment,  Future of Work,  Labour Standards,  Research

Rebuilding Canada’s Economy Must Start with Rebuilding Work

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis have shone an unforgiving spotlight on several long-standing fractures in Canada’s labour market. Repairing those structural weaknesses is an essential precondition for re-opening the economy — and keeping it open — once the immediate health emergency passes and we start heading back to work. Failing to address those challenges will amplify the consequences of this crisis for millions of Canadians, as well as our overall social and economic stability. And it will leave us more vulnerable to the next pandemic, or comparable shock of some other sort.

Centre for Future Work Director Jim Stanford was invited to participate in a new project, Rebuild Canada, hosted by the Public Policy Forum. The project aims to inform policy-makers about the most pressing priorities as Canada’s economy tries to recover from the pandemic and its terrible economic, social, and health consequences. Jim’s contribution catalogues the damage done to Canada’s labour market by the pandemic, and shows how the precarity and inequality that shaped employment long before COVID-19 arrived made those consequences worse. It then discusses several priorities for labour policy reform to make jobs safer, more stable and fair — with consequent benefits for both the economy and public health.

Please see the full report, Work After COVID-19: Building a Stronger, Healthier Labour Market, published by the Public Policy Forum.

Jim Stanford is Economist and Director of the Centre for Future Work. He divides his time between Sydney, Australia and Vancouver, Canada. Jim is one of Canada’s best-known economic commentators. He served for over 20 years as Economist and Director of Policy with Unifor, Canada’s largest private-sector trade union.