A woman pushes a baby stroller through a gentle snow fall on a sidewalk just below Parliament Hill in Ottawa Saturday, January 8, 2011. A new report from Royal Bank of Canada says more than 20,000 women left Canada’s workforce between February and October, but about triple the number of men joined it. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

A woman pushes a baby stroller through a gentle snow fall on a sidewalk just below Parliament Hill in Ottawa Saturday, January 8, 2011. A new report from Royal Bank of Canada says more than 20,000 women left Canada’s workforce between February and October, but about triple the number of men joined it. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

Women leaving workforce faster than men, childcare playing big role in exodus: study

The study warns that this pattern could slow down the economic recovery

A new report from Royal Bank of Canada says more than 20,000 women left Canada’s workforce between February and October, but about triple the number of men joined it.

The study says raising children is likely the cause of the exodus, which is seeing women between ages 20 and 24 and 35 and 39 abandoning work faster than most other cohorts.

Mothers with children under six only made up 41 per cent of the labour force in February and yet, they account for two-thirds of the exodus.

The study warns that this pattern could slow down the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and impact the future of industries largely dominated by women.

The economists behind the study are particularly worried because the high number of women who have lost their jobs during the pandemic are not temporarily laid off and don’t appear to be looking for work like their male counterparts.

RBC says this could be happening because women are more likely to work in industries slower to recover from COVID-19 restrictions, their ability to work from home may be much lower than men because they dominate the hospitality, retail and arts sectors and they often take on more onerous responsibilities associated with raising kids.

READ MORE: Feds probing ways to address COVID-19 impact on women

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

economywomen in business

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chief Robert Gladstone of Shxwha:y Village at a federal flood funding announcement April 24, 2019. (Jenna Hauck/Chilliwack Progress file)
Consortium of Indigenous chiefs seeking a way to participate in cannabis economy

All Nations Chiefs from the Shxwha:y, Cheam, Soowahlie and Sq’ewlets holding online forum Dec. 2

Work continues at Planet Ice, but one ice surface will be in use in December. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Planet Ice to partially reopen in December

Maple Ridge arena should have emergency repairs completed in early January

Pitt Meadows Mayor John Becker at his former law office. (News files)
Becker suspended from practicising law for 14 months

Former Pitt Meadows Mayor faced discipline by the Law Society of B.C.

Maple Ridge Glow will include holiday favourites like the CPR Holiday Train and many new events and activities. (Kathryn Baird/Special to The News)
Maple Ridge looks to revitalize town centre plan

City has reached out to public for advice and is taking steps to make Haney safer

Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden
Maple Ridge council considers budget with 3.6% property tax increase

Councillors trying to bring down tax hike during pandemic

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

Despite rumours, Surrey RCMP say they are not issuing tickets to people if they are driving in a vehicle with others from a different household. (File photo)
COVID-19 tickets: No, RCMP aren’t checking vehicle occupancies, restaurant tables

Enforcement about education, not punishment says Surrey RCMP Cpl. Joanie Sidhu

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Most Read