Behind the Numbers

Entries Tagged as 'Employment and Labour'

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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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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The ‘girl effect’ reduces inequality, but we can’t count on it forever

March 7th, 2014 · · Gender Equality, Income Inequality

This piece was first published in the Globe and Mail’s Economy Lab.

Every year when International Women’s Day rolls by, I can’t help but reflect on power, how it’s shared, and how women use the power they have. This year, I am struck by women’s power to reduce inequality, and not just to help ourselves. Women are key to reducing income inequality.

It’s been dubbed the girl effect, more powerful than the Internet, science, the government, and even money.

Canada is actually a poster girl (sorry) for the truth that education and hard work can transform not just lives but societies.

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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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Canada’s Job Market: Slower, Lower, Weaker

February 8th, 2014 · · Employment and Labour, Federal Budget

The following commentary on yesterday’s job numbers is quoted in today’s National Post (page FP4):

The Olympic motto may be “Faster, Higher, Stronger,” but Canada’s employment growth is slower, lower and weaker going into the winter games.

Of the 29,000 Canadians who supposedly gained employment in January, 28,000 reported being self-employed. Only 1,000 found jobs paid by an employer.

While self-employment includes some high-income professionals and entrepreneurs, the jump in self-employment in the context of a poor job market suggests that many Canadians are trying to eke out income through contract work because employers are not offering paid positions.

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The problem with Hudak’s million jobs promise

January 21st, 2014 · · Employment and Labour, Ontario

Co-authored by Kayle Hatt and Trish Hennessy

Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak has a new jobs plan to create a million new jobs over the next eight years.

ONE MILLION (cue Austin Powers reference).

There are a few known details of his so-called plan – like cutting corporate taxes and ending green energy  – but little clarity on how this will actually create jobs.

Even without the full details, there are other reasons to doubt his promise.

For starters: there aren’t a million unemployed people in Ontario.

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Are Higher Minimum Wages Un-Canadian?

January 16th, 2014 · · Economy & Economic Indicators, Employment and Labour

Guest Post by Michal Rozworski

The demands to substantially increase the minimum wage are growing louder south of the border. Workers across the most poorly-paid industries are finding creative ways to raise the issue with strikes by fast-food workers and Walmart employees making waves across the country. What’s more, many of these workers are boldly arguing not for incremental increases but a substantial boost: a $15 per hour minimum wage has been one of their slogans. Even some elected officialshave taken up the $15 per hour cause. Support for a more modest minimum wage increase is at over three quarters among the general population and the issue could become an important one in the U.S. 2014 elections.

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