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Bank of Canada head says uneven recovery could hit living standards for all Canadians

OTTAWA, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Canada must strive for a more even economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic or risk a hit to potential growth that could limit living standards for all Canadians, the head of the Bank of Canada said on Thursday.

While the bounce-back from the depths of the crisis has been stronger than expected, the uneveness of the recovery across sectors is hitting some of the country’s most vulnerable workers, Governor Tiff Macklem said.

“Very uneven recessions tend to be longer and have a larger impact on the labor market. So, uneven outcomes for some can lead to poorer outcomes for all,” he told a business audience by videoconference.

Women, youth and low-wage workers are far more likely to work in service-related jobs, where close contact is required, and were therefore more badly affected by broad shutdowns and the slower return to business as normal.

“If these workers become discouraged and leave the labor force or lose valuable skills over time, their reduced economic participation will lower our potential growth, limiting living standards for everyone,” Macklem said.

Reporting by Julie Gordon and David Ljunggren

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