More than half (58 per cent) of working Canadians said they feel more concerned about their financial situation due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new survey by the Canadian Payroll Association.
The survey, which polled more than 4,000 employed Canadians, found 54 per cent said their company is facing serious economic impacts from the pandemic. While respondents haven’t been laid off, a third expressed concern about their job security. The majority (77 per cent) said they’re working from home during the pandemic, but as workplaces reopen, one in five said these worries may prompt them to go into the office even if they’re coughing, sneezing or feeling ill.
The survey respondents also expressed concerns about macroeconomic issues, with 60 per cent saying they’re worried about the state of the Canadian economy and 55 per cent about Canada’s employment situation. Almost half (46 per cent) said they’re worried about the economy performing poorly.
The Canadian Payroll Association said the survey’s findings challenge the assumption that working Canadians aren’t experiencing pandemic-related financial stress because they’re still receiving a paycheque.
“The repercussions of the pandemic continue to threaten our country’s return to stability,” said Peter Tzanetakis, the association’s president, in a press release. “Our research shows that COVID-19 has directly affected the financial stress of working Canadians, many of whom express deep concern about the economy as a whole. Recognizing that financial stress already costs Canadian businesses billions of dollars, developing strategies to help Canadians decrease or manage that stress should be a part of our broader strategy for economic recovery.”
He suggested employers offer financial education or access to programs that encourage saving directly through payroll to help alleviate employees’ financial concerns.