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Canadians’ financial well-being drops amid pandemic

Canadians’ financial well-being drops amid pandemic

first_img Facebook LinkedIn Twitter IE Staff As the pandemic continues to affect people’s jobs and lives, it’s no surprise that the financial well-being of Canadians has dropped compared with past years, as shown by Morneau Shepell’s inaugural financial well-being index.The index score for January 2021 was -2.8, revealing “a lower level of financial well-being among working Canadians compared to 2019,” a release said. The score was based on online surveys that were conducted with 3,000 working Canadians in December 2020. Ontario unlikely to balance budget by 2030: FAO Lady overwhelmed by debt, tax, tax forms 123RF CERB payments went to workers hit hard by lockdowns: StatsCan Keywords Coronavirus,  Pandemics,  Behavioural finance Related news The index assessed factors such as financial knowledge (-1.8 for January), financial behaviour (-3.3) and perceived financial situation (-2.5). To assess pre-2020 well-being, a benchmark was used that leveraged data collected between 2017 and 2019.Impacts on work productivity were also considered, with 22% of those surveyed saying “that their financial situation is currently impacting their work productivity.”In particular, a report said, both workers under the age of 50 (29%) and those with children (32%) were much more likely to report negative impacts, compared with those over the age of 50 (13%) and those without kids (17%).Even more striking were the significant effects on females versus males. Female respondents reported an overall financial well-being score of -5.1, compared with -0.6 for males, who said they have improved in some areas.For example, men were more confident than in previous years about their financial knowledge (+1.9) and perceived situations (+0.2), in contrast with -5.6 and -5.3 for women, respectively.Both, however, were less satisfied with their productivity, at -2.9 for women and -1.7 for men.The majority of respondents overall (71%) indicated they were in the same financial position as the prior three months, versus being in a worse position. And 74% said they had the same level of financial concern.In a regional breakdown, the report found that, while Canadian provinces are “performing below the historical benchmark,” there are differences. Quebec (-0.9) and Saskatchewan (-1.5) had the highest scores, and Alberta had the lowest (-6.2).As for the rest, “British Columbia and Ontario both score 2.4 points below the benchmark, followed by Manitoba (-3.4), Newfoundland and Labrador (-3.9), and the Maritimes (-4.9),” the report said.Looking across industries, most workers felt adversely affected compared with 2019. Full-time students received the lowest score (-15.4), but workers in 19 industries in total had negative well-being scores between -0.3 and -15.4.In contrast, workers in professional, scientific and technical services had higher wellness scores than pre-2020 (3.5), as did those employed in public administration (0.8), and finance and insurance (0.7).This research showed how differently people can be affected, depending on where and how they live and work, said Idan Shlesinger, president of retirement solutions and executive vice-president at Morneau Shepell, in the release.For example, “People with the same salary could have vastly different levels of knowledge, different financial behaviours and very different perceptions of their financial situations,” he said. “It is clear that financial well-being impacts mental health and work productivity, but a one-size-fits-all approach will not work to improve it.” A deadly first wave, followed by a tsunami of excess deaths Share this article and your comments with peers on social medialast_img read more