Income inequality manifests itself in different ways.
The experience with COVID-19 provides another example, which is the gap in the prevalence of working from home.
A report says high-income families were more likely to work from home during the pandemic compared to their less privileged counterparts.
Statistics Canada reported that from April 2020 to June 2021, 45 percent of dual-earner salaried couples in the top 10 percent of the earnings distribution had both spouses working from home.
This was nine times the rate of five percent observed for couples in the bottom 10 percent.
“The greater propensity of high-income families to work from home largely reflects the fact that these couples generally hold jobs that are more amenable to telework than lower-income couples,” Statistics Canada reported.
The agency explained that in 57 percent of dual-earner salaried couples in the top 10 percent of the earnings distribution, “both spouses held jobs that could in principle be done from home”.
In contrast, for dual-earner salaried couples in the bottom 10 percent, the rate was 11 percent.
As well, highly paid employees were more likely than other employees to work from home.
Statistics Canada reported that 63 percent of employees in the top 10 percent of the hourly wage distribution worked from home from April 2020 to June 2021.
This rate is “almost eight times” the eight percent observed for those in the bottom 10 percent.
The Statistics Canada report noted that the pandemic has changed the work location of many Canadians.
It stated that from April 2020 to June 2021, 30 percent of employees aged 15 to 64 “performed most of their hours from home”.
This marks a significant increase from the four percent of employees who teleworked in 2016.
In a previous report, Statistics Canada noted that as of April 2021, the number of Canadians working from home grew by 100,000, for a total of 5.1 million people.
In its report Wednesday (August 4), the agency also noted a trend among those who work at home, which is likely connected with income inequality.
That would be education. It is generally held that low-income results in poorer educational attainment.
“The propensity to work from home increased with educational attainment, in line with the fact that highly educated workers hold jobs that are more conducive to telework, compared with less educated workers,” Statistics Canada stated.
The agency noted that 58 percent of workers with “more than a bachelor's degree performed most of their hours from home”.
In comparison, only seven percent of workers with “no high school diploma” worked from home.