Behind the Numbers

Entries Tagged as 'Employment and Labour'

Unfortunate outcome to a disappointing campaign

April 13th, 2014 · · Democracy, Employment and Labour, Quebec

The province of Quebec now has a new government. On April 7th, in a majority of ridings, the population chose to elect a representative of the Liberal Party of Quebec, making neurosurgeon Philippe Couillard the new Premier. Former PQ leader Pauline Marois thus became not only the only woman to lead Quebec, but also the first Premier to fail to win a second term for his or her party in more than 40 years.

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Why the job market still looks pink and blue

April 9th, 2014 · · Economy & Economic Indicators, Employment and Labour, Gender Equality, Income Inequality

ImageOver the past twenty years more women have gone to university and more women have entered the paid workforce. So why does the job market still look pink and blue?

A recent study published by Statistics Canada finds that young women with university degrees today are most likely to become elementary school teachers or nurses.

Just like young women twenty years ago.

The increasing share of women attaining university degrees has clearly increased their share of some professional job markets—particularly in law and medicine. However, women’s shares of jobs in science and engineering have grown only slightly from their historically low levels.

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Help wanted: Ontario’s temporary foreign workers and the need for answers

April 8th, 2014 · · Employment and Labour, Ontario

Temporary foreign workers seem to be top of mind for many today.  In a CBC news article posted this morning, the CFIB claimed that temporary foreign workers have a better work ethic than their Canadian counterparts.  And yesterday, CBC reported that McDonald’s has been bringing in temporary foreign workers to fill new vacancies.

At the same time, new research from the Metcalf Foundation points out that migrant worker recruitment is big business – for profit companies are making big money matching migrant workers with precarious jobs.

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Ontario’s Labour Market: Part-time gains, long-term pain

April 4th, 2014 · · Economy & Economic Indicators, Employment and Labour, Ontario

This morning’s job numbers from Statistics Canada report that Ontario created 13,400 net new jobs in March.  That’s the largest gain in seven months – a fact that masks a loss of 6,500 full-time jobs in exchange for 19,900 part-time positions.

The good news is the employment rate for prime-aged workers increased by 0.1 percentage points.  The youth employment rate increased by almost 1 percentage point.  At the same time, the participation rate of prime-aged workers decreased as 15,000 prime-aged workers left the labour force.

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Nova Scotia Nurses are Pulling the Red Cord

April 3rd, 2014 · · Employment and Labour, Nova Scotia, public services

Nurses in Nova Scotia are on the picket lines today in a legal strike. They are expected to be out until the government passes essential services legislation. Bill 37, Essential Health and Community Services Act, is a sly attempt to achieve two things:

  • Effectively remove the right to strike (the legislation itself anticipates this by referring, in Section 15, to “depriving the employees in the bargaining unit of a meaningful right to strike,” and
  • Avoid the substitute – interest arbitration on issues in dispute.

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A Toxic Mix: Minimum wage and business tax cuts

February 26th, 2014 · · Employment and Labour, Ontario, Taxes and Tax Cuts

Yesterday, Ontario’s NDP announced an election plank: increase the minimum wage, and at the same time, cut taxes for small business.

The gist of their proposal:

a) a 33% tax cut for small businesses and

b) a 56 cent minimum wage increase over and above what the current government has already committed

I have no squabble with the minimum wage increase. Sure, I wish it were higher, as we proposed to the Minimum Wage Advisory Panel back in November. The problem comes when a wage increase is coupled with a tax cut. This sets an extremely dangerous precedent. It buys into the rhetoric that minimum wage increases are bad for business and governments need to mitigate the damage.

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Bad Math: Why Budget 2014 fails to add up for women

February 21st, 2014 · · Economy & Economic Indicators, Employment and Labour, Federal Budget, Gender Equality

256px-Ampelmadchen_DresdenI like playing monopoly as much as the next girl. But I know the difference between monopoly money and what’s in my wallet. Not so Federal Budget 2014—at least not when it comes to public spending to improve the lives of women.

Status of Women Canada, the federal organization tasked with just this, has always had a laughably small budget. Consider that Status of Women Canada is mandated to promote “equality [and the] full participation in the economic, social and democratic life of Canada” of half the population. All that with an operating budget that amounts to $1.67 per woman and girl in Canada.

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My advice to young workers? Get angry.

February 20th, 2014 · · Alternative Federal Budget, Employment and Labour, Youth

In the wake of the Federal Budget, the CCPA’s Alternative Federal Budget, and months of disappointing job numbers, it seems that the national conversation about youth and work is undergoing a bit of a revival. Following on the heels of Jim Flaherty’s announcement of interest-free loans for skilled trades students, CBC’s The National called together a panel of experts to talk about the fit between post-secondary programs and the kinds of jobs available in our evolving economy. Between on-the-street interviews with anxious students, panelists were asked to make sense of the confusing labour market for young workers, to cut through conflicting statistics and rhetoric around labour shortages and the value of a university education. They were pressed, as so many experts are, to offer advice to recent graduates.

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Who’s right on Ontario’s Labour Market – Wynne or Hudak?

February 20th, 2014 · · Employment and Labour, Ontario

There was a strange debate at the Ontario Legislature on Monday. It was a disagreement not over policies or a scandal, but over the state of the labour market in Ontario.

Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak said: “Premier, in review of your first year in office, I noticed that Ontario didn’t create a single new job, that we lost as many jobs in the province as we gained. … [we’re] on the wrong track. We’re losing jobs—39,000 jobs in December alone.”

And Premier Wynne responded: “… he’s got his information wrong. There have been 93,000 net new jobs created in this province just in the last year.”

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Exploitation tastes better when we’re loving it

February 17th, 2014 · · Employment and Labour

Are you one of those people for whom your job is also a passion? Would you be ready to accept a pay cut only for the pleasure of keeping the job you currently have, along with the people you work with? According to a poll conducted last year by recruiting firm Monster, those who earn most are also those most likely to fall into that category. We shouldn’t be surprised. High wages often come with jobs wholeheartedly chosen, complete with responsibilities, influence, and recognition. However, for the vast majority of workers, work is more like a chore for which you get paid, too often with little opportunities for moving up and even less grasp on how your firm conducts business or on how things are done.

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