Canadians Had Some of the World's Highest Stress Levels in 2020

Canadian and American workers' stress levels have been through the roof during the pandemic, with about 57 percent reporting feeling stress on a daily basis.

Canadian flag

Image via Photo by Owen Farmer

Canadian flag

If you’ve been feeling overextended at work lately, a new report will at least let you know you’re not alone: Canadians experienced some of the highest stress levels in the world in 2020.

Canadian and U.S. employees ranked highest for daily stress levels of all groups surveyed in a study by American analytics and advisory company Gallup. About 57 percent of Canadian and U.S. workers reported feeling stress on a daily basis during the pandemic, up by eight percentage points from the year prior, and compared with 43 percent worldwide.

In spite of the increased strain, Canadian and U.S. employee engagement levels actually rose by two percentage points to 34 percent last year, while decreasing by two points to 20 percent globally. Overall, the international workforce reported higher worry, stress, anger, and sadness in 2020 than in the previous year. 

The new data comes shortly after Alberta was elected Canada’s most miserable province during the pandemic. The numbers also coincide with Canada’s struggle to keep COVID-19 cases and deaths down, as well as its long and strict lockdowns.

“The trends among U.S. and Canadian workers are similar with slight increases in employee engagement but also increases in daily stress. Though they found themselves even more involved in their work, increased daily stress may put them at high risk of burnout,” said Jim Harter, Gallup’s cheif workplace scientist, in a statement.

In Canada and the U.S., stress levels varied according to gender—62 percent of working women reported daily feelings of stress in contrast to 52 percent of their male counterparts. What’s more, 53 percent of women reported feeling burnt out, compared with 43 percent of men. 

But, hey, at least all that grinding has sort yielded some success? Although workers in Canada and the U.S. reported lower levels of thriving last year at 56 percent, their thriving levels were still higher than the rest of the world’s workforce at 32 percent. Hooray?

Gallup also projects that low employee engagement has cost the global economy $8.1 trillion.

If you or anyone you know is dealing with mental health issues, don’t hesitate to seek a health care professional. You can also send a text message to 741741 24 hours a day or dial 911 for immediate help.

Latest in Life