Bank of Canada Governor points to child care, education to help ease protracted employment recovery
In a speech to chambers of commerce in Edmonton and Calgary, Governor Tiff Macklem said he expects short-term rebounds in job numbers as parts of the country come out of those tight public health restrictions. Vaccines also promise a more sustained rebound coming out of this wave of the pandemic. Getting back to a healthy labour market is central to the bank's target of low, stable and predictable inflation, Macklem said.
But he warned the damage to the national labour market cased by COVID-19 will not be easily undone, saying that a recovery will be long and protracted. Some businesses and jobs won't come back either because of permanent changes in demand, or the adoption of new technologies, Macklem said.
Governments could increase access to child care and reduce its cost to help the labour market rebound, and reduce the risk of long-term economic scarring for women who have disproportionately felt the brunt of pandemic job losses, the governor of the Bank of Canada says.
Making child care more affordable and available across the country would help more women return to the labour force and stay there as conditions improve, Tiff Macklem said, noting their job numbers have fluctuated as school and daycare openings and closures during the pandemic affects their ability to work.
Child care is expected to play a role in the federal government's spring budget as the Liberals have vowed to create a national child-care system, seeing it as a key economic measure to aid in a jobs recovery.
The House of Commons finance committee recommended recently that the Liberals start with an initial spend of about $2 billion this year to kickstart development of a system that experts say will take years to build.