The Canadian Quality of Work and Economic Life Study (also known as “C-QWELS” for short) is a nationally representative survey of Canadian workers.   

The first survey took place in September of 2019 with 2,500 workers. We then followed up with a new survey of another 2,500 workers in March of 2020.   

Combining those two samples, we have surveyed all those individuals again in April, May, June, August, October, and December of 2020. And we have continued the survey into 2021 (so far: February and April).   

Our plan is to continue to survey these same study participants throughout the pandemic and after it subsides. 

Key Questions:

The rapid onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the lives of Canadians—across the socioeconomic spectrum, but especially those in more precarious work and financial circumstances. In the context of these historic transformations, we ask:  

(1) What are the short- and longer-term effects on the quality of work and economic life of Canadians?  

(2) How will these changes impact social, mental, and physical well-being over time?  

(3) What resources are most effective for coping to help weaken the harmful effects of role disruptions and strains?  

To answer these questions, we will trajectories of change in employment, work, and economic conditions over the course of the pandemic—with a focus on job insecurity and disruption, financial strain, and restructuring of the work-home interface. We also describe how these disruptions and transitions correspond to functioning—especially the sense of powerlessness, mistrust, social isolation, and loneliness—and then trace the consequences for sleep problems and different forms of emotional distress. 

A Brief Message to C-QWELS Study Participants