March 16, 2022
The COVID-19 pandemic had large impacts on those in the skilled trades, as these jobs often require hands-on and close-proximity interactions. Using data from the Education and Labour Market Longitudinal Platform, this study examines the pandemic’s impacts by investigating the proportion of journeypersons who received the CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit) among those who certified between 2008 and 2019. By examining the proportions across trades, geography and population groups, this study can provide further insight into how the pandemic affected those in the skilled trades and how the impacts were different across trades and groups.
38% of Male Contruction Electricians (Journeypersons) collected CERB at least once and 15.8% received CERB longer than 15 weeks. Women electricians in construction were slightly higher for one CERB payment at 39.2% but 19% received it for longer than 15 weeks. Female Industrial Electricians were at 25.6% for at least one CERB payment and 11.3% received CERB longer than 15 weeks. For men the numbers were slightly lower at 23% for at least once and 7.4% for longer than 15 weeks. The data suggest that the pandemic hit female journey people in the electrical trade slightly harder than men.
While declines in employment were observed in most industries during this period, some sectors deemed essential, such as construction, oil and gas extraction, and utilities, or sectors where close contact with others was less necessary, were less impacted by the COVID-19 economic shutdown. Certified journeypersons in these industries, such as agricultural equipment technicians (7%), powerline technicians (13%) and truck and transport mechanics (18%), had the lowest CERB take-up rates for both men and women.
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