Behind the Numbers

Entries Tagged as 'Employment and Labour'

We don’t need a surplus, we need jobs

April 21st, 2015 · · Economy & Economic Indicators, Employment and Labour, Federal Budget

Call me naïve. Going into the 2015 budget lockup I figured the sale of Canada’s GM shares (that could have been used as leverage to keep GM jobs in Canada, but I digress) would go toward a new infrastructure plan for cities. The proportion of people working today is unchanged from the worst point during the recession and job quality indexes are at all time lows. Building things creates jobs and returns benefits to the economy. Obviously, or so I thought, infrastructure spending would make an important appearance in Joe Oliver’s first budget.

And I suppose it will… in 2019.

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Solutions to precarious work in Ontario: new report

March 31st, 2015 · · Employment and Labour, Income Inequality, Ontario

Toronto’s Workers’ Action Centre released a new report today, Still Living on the Edge: Building Decent Jobs from the Ground Up, which addresses cultural, legal, and social issues facing Ontario’s workers.

Using a combination of policy analysis, data collection, and first-hand accounts of workers’ lives, the report paints a full picture of the state of employment in the province.

It comes at a time when the province is reviewing employment standards in Ontario. Many organizations will be weighing in – including the CCPA – but today the Workers’ Action Centre has come out with some important recommendations that could improve the lives of workers.

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Women’s roller coaster ride in Ontario’s labour market

March 6th, 2015 · · Employment and Labour, Gender Equality, Ontario

In anticipation of International Women’s Day (this Sunday), let’s look at how women are faring in Ontario’s labour market.

Here’s a shocker: in terms of Ontario’s employment rate, women have made no gains since the year 2000. Women began the century with an employment rate of 57.4 per cent (12 month moving average, December 2000) and they began 2015 with an employment rate of 57.2 per cent – slightly less than the December 2000 number.

And in between those years, women have been on a roller coaster ride when it comes to jobs.

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What if First Nations (and their poverty) were counted?

January 26th, 2015 · · Aboriginal Issues, Employment and Labour

Kudos to the Globe and Mail for their front page story on Jan 23rd highlighting the fact that the official unemployment rate does not count First Nations reserves. You heard that right: First Nations reserves, some of the poorest places in the country, are not included in the official unemployment rate.

As unbelievable as that sounds, the reality is even worse. Reserves are regularly excluded from all of our regularly updated measures of poverty, wage growth, average incomes etc. The exception to this rule is during a Census, i.e. every four years (and as a result of legislation making the long form Census voluntary, concerns have been raised about the future reliability of these data). Otherwise, reserves—some of the poorest places in Canada–are statistic-free zones: out of sight…out of mind.

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Who gets paid more?

January 20th, 2015 · · Economy & Economic Indicators, Employment and Labour, Gender Equality, Income Inequality, Poverty and Income Inequality, public services

The Fraser Institute is really concerned that public sector employees might be making more than private sector employees. What is notable about the recent Fraser Institute report on public and private sector wages in British Columbia is that it does not seem particularly concerned with the reasons why there are variations in public and private sector compensation. The stated concern of the report is that public sector wages, benefits and job security should be more closely tied to private sector wages, benefits and job security.

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CETA: A Bad Trade for Women

December 18th, 2014 · · Employment and Labour, Gender Equality, International Trade and Investment

In September the federal government triumphantly announced the conclusion of the Canada-European Union Economic Trade Agreement (CETA). Again. The government boasts that CETA will benefit all Canadians, bringing $12 billion annually to the economy. Generous projections aside, does the government even know how the agreement will affect Canadian men and women? The answer is ‘no.’

So you might be wondering:

Was gender considered in CETA?

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A tough month for job seekers in Ontario

December 5th, 2014 · · Employment and Labour, Ontario

After a gain of 37,000 jobs in October, Ontario posted a loss of 33,900 jobs in November.

Unfortunately, 80% of those losses were in full-time work.

Ontario’s year-to-date unemployment rate is now 7.3%. The province’s employment rate, which provides a snapshot of how many people are actually working in paid employment, nudged down a bit: year-to-date, Ontario’s employment rate is 61.2%. To put that into perspective, the employment rate in 2012, post-recession, was 61.3% and in 2013 it was 61.4%.

The November job numbers run counter to an overall trend in 2014: the year featured nine months of net job growth and two months of net job losses.

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Is Big Oil a big job creator?

October 27th, 2014 · · Employment and Labour

Job creation is high on the oil industry’s list of go-to arguments for increased investment in the oil sands. Energy extraction is a key driver of employment growth, they tell us, and the benefits extend well beyond Alberta. “Almost every community in Canada has been touched by oil sands development through the stimulating impact it has on job creation,” according to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

The industry’s favourite number? 905,000. That’s the projected increase in oil sands jobs in the next two decades, up from a meager 75,000 today, according to an oft-quoted report by the industry-funded Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI).

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Labour Market Trends: Ontario’s ongoing struggle to recover

October 14th, 2014 · · Employment and Labour, Ontario

Ontario’s unemployment rate dropped in September 2014 to its lowest level since October 2008 – good news or bad?

On the surface, this month’s Statistics Canada numbers could seem like a good news kind of story.

Temporary employment fell.

Part-time employment grew at the same rate as full-time employment.

And, perhaps because of the growth in full-time jobs, even self-employment growth seems to have slowed.

At the same time, it is clear that Ontario’s labour force hasn’t fully recovered from the global economic recession.

Here are a few troubling signs I’m keeping my eye on:

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Austerity 2.0: Kinder and gentler, but a cut is still a cut

October 1st, 2014 · · Employment and Labour, Ontario, public services, Taxes and Tax Cuts

Here in Ontario, we have glimpsed the future, and it looks a lot like Austerity 2.0.

That’s what Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s mandate letters set out for her cabinet last week.

On the one hand, the premier is instructing her ministers to invest – in poverty reduction, transit and transportation improvements, and (hopefully) job creation.

But, with those same letters, ministers are being told to hold the line on spending. Even after two years of her predecessor’s austerity cuts, Wynne has instructed her cabinet to find $250 to $500 million in savings every year until 2017-18 – her target to eliminate the province’s fiscal deficit.

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