Hiring marginalized workers could aid Canada’s economy after coronavirus: report

A new report by Deloitte Canada says that Canada’s economy was headed for slowing growth in the next decade, even if COVID-19 had never hit.

The consulting and audit firm says that boosting the number of hours worked in the economy would reverse Canada’s economic slowdown and lift the pace of yearly economic growth by 50 per cent, adding $4,900 to Canadians’ average annual income by 2030 without raising tax rates.

To do that, Deloitte says Canada needs to be more inclusive of groups that are underemployed in the economy, otherwise the number of workers will shrink over the next decade.

The report, which looks at more than 1,000 variables, says Canada has a low fertility rate, and the share of Canadians over age 65 is expected to nearly double.

That means retirees must be replaced in the workforce by underrepresented groups such as women, immigrants, people with disabilities and Indigenous Canadians.

Deloitte suggests that for the economy to grow faster, companies need better disability accommodations, workplace inclusion policies, and childcare benefit packages — while regulators need to expand apprenticeship options and degree equivalencies for immigrants.

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