They say two heads are better than one, and when it comes to Covid-19, you may be better off with two jobs.
A new report from Statistics Canada studied the financial wellbeing of two groups of unincorporated self-employed individuals: those whose only income is self-employment income and those who are self-employed but also have another job.
The news wasn’t good for people who didn’t have a second job. Those folks were likely to “remain under severe financial strain” as a result of the pandemic, StatsCan warned.
Using data from 2016 tax records, StatsCan gauged people’s reliance on self-employment income by measuring the median individual share of self-employment income in a person’s total income.
StatsCan noted that men who were self-employed and had no other job were highly reliant on their self-employment income to get by.
Men in the lowest income decile were 100% reliant on their self-employment income, while men in the highest income decile were 86.4% reliant on their self-employment income. Overall, men were 93.5% reliant on their self-employment income.
The results were slightly better for self-employed women who didn’t have another job.
Women in the lowest income decile were only 78.4% reliant on their self-employment income. This, StatsCan noted, is presumably because women are more likely to receive child benefits, which can represent a large share of income for people who earn very little.
But self-employed women with no other job in the highest income decile were 89.5% reliant on their self-employment income to get by — even higher than men. Overall, self-employed women with no other job were 87.9% reliant on their self-employment income.
The results were markedly different for people who were self-employed but also reported T4 income, StatsCan said.
Men and women in the lowest income decile who also reported T4 income were the most reliant on their self-employment income — 23.6% and 16.4%, respectively. In the highest income decile, men and women barely depended on any of their self-employment income — just 1.3% and 1.7%, respectively.
Overall, men and women with an additional job were 4.3% and 4.4% reliant on their self-employment income to get by, respectively. StatsCan added that people with a second job had “considerably higher” income than people who did not.
Those with no other job may face serious hardship when the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) expires at the end of the month, StatsCan warned.
“As non-employees, they are unlikely to qualify for EI regular benefits after the CERB program expires at the end of September 2020, but many of those who earned at least $5,000 in 2019 or 2020 will qualify for the Canada Recovery Benefit,” StatsCan noted.
StatsCan added that self-employed individuals who also have T4 income may benefit from the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.