Behind the Numbers

Entries Tagged as 'Employment and Labour'

Where is the economic action for women in the North?

August 29th, 2014 · · Child Care, Employment and Labour, Gender Equality

Umimmak School in Nunavut

By Timkal (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Prime Minister is wrapping up his ninth annual trip to Canada’s north this week. This year, like every year, the stealth ski-doo is loaded up with announcements.

Presents for everyone!

So what are women in Nunavut going to find in their stockings this year? The bulk of federal investments in economic development in the north are funnelled through the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, which has an annual budget of just over $50 million (although that number is projected to decline over the next few years). Much of that $50 million is currently directed towards resource development—training for folks to work in the resource sector, infrastructure to get to the resources, research to tell us where the resources are.

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Is it time for a Canadian “daddy month”?

July 31st, 2014 · · Child Care, Employment and Labour, Gender Equality, Quebec

What makes for happy families? It turns out parents and policy makers could learn a lesson or two from their kids.

Lesson one: share.daddy_mouth

OK, I’ll admit it, there is one thing you can’t share—those nine awesome months of heartburn and swollen ankles. But the day your bundle of joy arrives, the sharing benefits start. In 2006 Quebec implemented a new paternity leave program to help fathers share more of the benefits and (yes, also the dirty diaper, and the middle of the night headaches) with mothers. Result? More fathers take time out after their kids are born in Quebec than in the rest of Canada. A lot more. Three times more.

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For the Sixth Year in a Row, Students are Struggling to Find Summer Jobs.

July 17th, 2014 · · Economy & Economic Indicators, Education, Employment and Labour

There is something great about summer in Canada; it’s hot but also full of promise with places to visit, camping, travelling, cottaging, trips to the beach and various summer events and festivals.

For many of Canada’s students, however, summer has not been so great. New data from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey released Friday shows that students are struggling to find summer jobs for the sixth year in a row.

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Temporary Foreign Worker Program changes – who do they help?

July 15th, 2014 · · Employment and Labour, Human Rights

The Conservative Government’s Minister of Employment and Social Development, Jason Kenney, announced on June 20th 2014 a raft of changes to the federal Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). The program has attracted controversy since at least 2006, most recently when the CBC reported that MacDonald’s outlets in Victoria were favoring temporary foreign workers over Canadians in hiring decisions and the allocation of hours.

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EI is Not Actually Helping the Poor

July 14th, 2014 · · Employment and Labour, Employment Insurance, Income Inequality

Who does employment insurance help? It seems like an obvious question. One would assume that EI is for Canadians who’ve lost their jobs and are therefore going to be low income. EI is meant to support them through hard times as they hopefully get another job and get back on their feet.

But…. what if we look at what income quintile EI recipients formerly found themselves? Were they low-income, middle class, or rich before they got laid off? I did some digging and I was surprised by the result.

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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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