Behind the Numbers

Entries Tagged as 'Employment and Labour'

Ontario Labour Market Remains Stuck on Precarity

July 11th, 2014 · · Economy & Economic Indicators, Employment and Labour, Ontario

Today is jobs Friday – the day that Statistics Canada’s monthly job report is released – and the numbers show Ontario’s labour market remains stuck in a precarious state.

Ontario lost 34,000 jobs between May and June. On a year-over-year basis, Ontario created only 10,000 new jobs between June 2013 and June 2014.

Total year-over-year gain: 2,000 full-time jobs and 8,000 part-time jobs.

Not only that, but the increase in employment comes entirely in the 55+ age bracket where employment increased by over 100,000 individuals (this age group also saw a population increase of 125,000).

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More People Chase Fewer Jobs

July 11th, 2014 · · Employment and Labour

Statistics Canada reported today that unemployment jumped by 25,700 in June because of shrinking employment and a growing labour force. Canada’s labour force expanded because of population growth, even though the participation rate did not increase. The combination of less employment and a larger working-age population depressed the employment rate to 61.4% – its lowest level since January 2010.

The Harper government has long trumpeted having a stronger job market than the US. In June, the unemployment rate rose in Canada but fell in the US. Statistics Canada reports that it is now the same on both sides of the border, even after adjusting for methodological differences between the two countries.

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Temporary Foreign Workers: A Progressive Solution

June 26th, 2014 · · Employment and Labour

The Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW) program has become such a mess that its complete elimination for low-skilled occupations is now an active possibility. Business, for its part, is screaming bloody murder that the cancellation will force the shutdown of entire sectors. They claim even offering $100/hour or $180,000/year to serve coffee at Tim Hortons will be inadequate to attract applicants. To boot, there is clear evidence that hiring TFWs instead of, say, Canadian youth is bad for Canadians looking for work.

As a progressive, I’ve wrestled with what to do with this mess. Should the whole program just be cancelled? If so, what happens to the actual Temporary Foreign Workers and, as a progressive, should I even care?

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Wanted: Big Ideas to Tackle Youth Unemployment

June 19th, 2014 · · Employment and Labour, Youth

You may not have heard about it because it didn’t receive much media attention, but the Parliamentary Finance Committee has been researching Youth Unemployment.

Canada has a youth unemployment problem. The youth unemployment rate at 13.9% in 2013 is more than twice the rate of those above 25, youth employment has barely improved since the worst of the recession and youth labour force participation has declined substantially. Youth who do have a job are more likely to be working in a precarious, temporary position or to be working part-time involuntarily.

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#voteON: What we should have been talking about

June 9th, 2014 · · Education, Employment and Labour, Health Care, Income Inequality, Ontario, Poverty and Income Inequality, Taxes and Tax Cuts, Uncategorized

The Ontario election is nearing its end and by Thursday night we will know the makeup of the next provincial government.

In some ways, this election featured a lot of substantive debate and policy discussion. For instance, a lot of focus was placed on the relative merit and credibility of the party platforms (and costing of those platforms).

On the other hand, a lot of important issues didn’t get much air time.

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A Paycheck is Not a Lifestyle Choice

June 9th, 2014 · · Employment and Labour, Gender Equality

Pay GapAllow me to woman-splain some things about the wage gap.

What is the wage gap? When two people have the same job, work the same hours and make different amounts of money that is a wage gap. In Canada, women working full-time earn between 20-23% less than their male colleagues.[i] Pay equity refers to situations where two people perform different tasks that are of comparable value and receive different levels of pay.

Do women always make less than men?

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Latest Job Stats Show Ontario on Unsteady Ground

June 6th, 2014 · · Economy & Economic Indicators, Employment and Labour, Ontario

New Statistics Canada jobs data shows that much of Ontario remains on the same unsteady ground it was on a year ago.

Communities and regions suffering from continually high joblessness and underemployment remain pretty much stuck in that pattern; while the regions that are doing well – such as Kitchener-Waterloo – continue to perform well.

Overall, Ontario’s labour market saw the creation of 14,800 net new jobs last month. This small change masks a loss of 30,000 full-time jobs and a gain of 45,000 part-time jobs.

Much of the big picture data, however, masks a continuing shift in Ontario’s labour market.

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Leitão’s Budget: Austerity in All but Name

June 6th, 2014 · · Employment and Labour, Environment, Quebec, Taxes and Tax Cuts

Both before the budget was tabled and during its presentation, Finance Minister Carlos Leitão spoke of “rigour” and “responsibility,” but never used the term “austerity.” Yet, this is truly an austerity budget: many government departments will be receiving less next year than they have this year. Here is a summary of the budget cuts:

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Ontario Leaders’ debate: fact check

June 4th, 2014 · · Economy & Economic Indicators, Employment and Labour, Ontario, Pensions, public services

Election debates can be exciting spectacles — they’re fun to watch, and they are important reminders of the value of democracy and constructive disagreement.

They are not, however, the best format for political leaders to cite their sources or explain nuance and in the rapid back-and-forth some detail is lost.

So we thought we’d dig into three statements from last night’s Ontario Leaders’ debate with the goal of both fact-checking the political statements and providing the policy detail behind the debate.

Harper-style Private Pension Plans?

“The Liberals are about to introduce into Ontario, in a couple of months, a Harper-style private pension plan …” – Andrea Horwath

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CBC: The Do’s and Don’ts of Consultation

May 25th, 2014 · · Employment and Labour, Media

On May 5th, CBC/Radio-Canada president and CEO Hubert T. Lacroix spoke at the Canadian Club of Montreal to present CBC’s financial situation. The speech was meant to expose the impact of the federal government’s cuts on the public broadcaster, but especially to discuss the new reality brought on by the arrival of new means of consuming radio and TV content. Since, to borrow the words of its president, CBC/Radio-Canada is “facing a defining moment,” this address also served to launch an online survey: “Transforming CBC/Radio-Canada for the future.”

This desire to consult CBC employees as well as the general population is certainly commendable. However, fundamental methodological principles must be followed for any consultation to be valid and representative of the opinion of those who take part. Unfortunately, after having submitted CBC/Radio-Canada’s consultation to a few tests, we conclude that it presents problems in three major areas: technical and methodological problems with the sampling, a political aim permeating the entire survey, and a multiple answer structure which, along with the wording of the questions, steers respondents towards particular answers.

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