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COVID-19, Occupation Tasks and Mental Health in Canada

Louis-Philippe Beland, Abel Brodeur, Derek Mikola and Taylor Wright ()

No 20-07, Carleton Economic Papers from Carleton University, Department of Economics

Abstract: In this paper, we study the effect of COVID-19 on the labour market and reported mental health of Canadians. We document that COVID-19 had drastic impact on labour market outcomes in Canada, with the largest effects for younger and less educated workers. To further understand the effect of the pandemic on the labour market, we build indexes for whether (1) workers are relatively more exposed to disease, (2) work in proximity to coworkers, (3) are essential workers, and (4) can easily work remotely. Our estimates suggest that the impact of COVID- 19 was significantly more severe for workers more exposed to disease and workers that work in proximity to coworkers, while the effects are less severe for essential workers and workers that can work remotely. Last, using the Canadian Perspective Survey, we find that reported mental health is significantly lower among the most affected workers. We also find that those who were absent form work because of COVID-19 are more concerned with meeting their financial obligations and with losing their job than those who continue working outside their home, while those who transition from working outside the home to their home are not as concerned with job loss. Our analysis points to the individuals the most affected by COVID-19.

Keywords: COVID-19; unemployment; wages; remote work; essential workers; exposure to disease; mental health (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I14 I18 J21 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 61 pages
Date: 2020-05-12, Revised 2020-06-30
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea and nep-lma
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Published: Carleton Economics Papers

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