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. ...Read more
Tags: Employment and Labour·minimum wage·Ontario·Taxes and Tax Cuts
I 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. ...Read more
Tags: Child Care·Economy & Economic Indicators·Employment and Labour·Federal Budget·Gender Equality
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. ...Read more
Tags: Capitalism·Economy & Economic Indicators·Education·Employment and Labour·Youth
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.” ...Read more
Tags: Employment and Labour·Jobs·Ontario
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. ...Read more
Tags: Employment and Labour·Federal Budget
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. ...Read more
Tags: Employment and Labour·Jobs·Ontario·Poverty and Income Inequality·Tim Hudak
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. ...Read more
Tags: Economy & Economic Indicators·Employment and Labour·minimum wage
It was a blue Christmas for many Canadian workers and job-seekers. Statistics Canada reported today that employment fell by 46,000 in December.
As a result, Canada’s unemployment rate jumped to 7.2%. Also today, the US Department of Labor reported that the American unemployment rate fell to 6.7% in December.
Taking account of national differences in how these rates are calculated, unemployment is actually still a bit higher in the US. But the notion that Canada has a stronger job market than the US now rests on very thin ice. ...Read more
Tags: Employment and Labour·Media
Last week, the CCPA revealed that the top 100 CEOs in Canada earn, on average, $7.96 million a year – or 171 times more than the average Canadian worker. That’s also 373 times more than an Ontarian earning the minimum wage.
To put that in perspective, the Top 100 CEOs earn in one hour[i] what a minimum wage worker will earn in 6.5 weeks. But there is one big caveat to this analysis – that minimum wage worker must be lucky enough to have a job that consistently offers 40 hours per week, offers paid sick days and provides vacation pay. ...Read more
Tags: CEOs·Employment and Labour·minimum wage·Ontario·Poverty and Income Inequality
Imagine finding $7.96 million in your stocking on Christmas morning. For Canada’s top 100 CEOs, that happy day has arrived. These 100 Canadians earn more than 99.9% of the working population of Canada. But if you are woman, odds are you are not on that lovely list. Not now, not ever.
It would take the average working age woman in Canada 235 years (or 85,778 days) to make as much as one of these CEOs makes in a single year. It would take a first-generation immigrant woman 268 years to do it.  Visible minority women and Aboriginal women would have to work the longest, at 273 years and 285 years respectively. ...Read more
Tags: CEOs·Employment and Labour·Gender Equality·Poverty and Income Inequality