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Low-paid Work and Economically Vulnerable Families over the Last Two Decades

Author

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  • Morissette, Rene
  • Picot, Garnett

Abstract

We examine the evolution of low-paid work and the position of economically vulnerable families in Canada over the last two decades. Despite substantial growth in workers' educational attainment and experience, the proportion of jobs paying less than $10.00 per hour has remained fairly stable since the early 1980s. However, union coverage in low-paid jobs has dropped, especially for males. The risk of job loss has changed little but the proportion of newly hired employees who hold temporary jobs has increased markedly, thereby indicating important changes in the employer-employee relationship. Despite their rising educational attainment, most low earners (except women aged 25 to 29) have not seen their chances of escaping low earnings improved between the 1980s and the 1990s. Of all full-time employees, 5% were low-paid and lived in low income families in 1980 and 2000. In 2000, individuals with no high school diploma, recent immigrants, unattached individuals, lone mothers and persons living alone accounted for fully 71% of all full-time workers in low-paid jobs and in low-income, but only 37% of all full-time workers. While members of these five groups account for the majority of low-paid workers in low-income families, two of these groups have seen their economic position declined significantly: low-educated couples and recent immigrants.

Suggested Citation

  • Morissette, Rene & Picot, Garnett, 2005. "Low-paid Work and Economically Vulnerable Families over the Last Two Decades," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2005248e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  • Handle: RePEc:stc:stcp3e:2005248e
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    File URL: http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/olc-cel/olc.action?ObjId=11F0019M2005248&ObjType=46&lang=en&limit=0
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rene Morissette & Anick Johnson, 2005. "Are good jobs disappearing in Canada?," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Aug, pages 23-56.
    2. Heisz, Andrew & Nakamura, A. & Picot, Garnett, 2001. "Job Tenure, Worker Mobility and the Youth Labour Market During the 1990s," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2001155e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    3. Johnson, Anick & Morissette, Rene, 2005. "Are Good Jobs Disappearing in Canada?," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2005239e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    4. Morissette, Rene & Ostrovsky, Yuri & Picot, Garnett, 2004. "Relative Wage Patterns Among the Highly Educated in a Knowledge-based Economy," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2004232e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    5. Morissette, Rene, 2004. "Have Permanent Layoff Rates Increased in Canada?," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2004218e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    6. Hou, Feng & Picot, Garnett, 2003. "The Rise in Low-income Rates Among Immigrants in Canada," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2003198e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    7. Frenette, Marc & Morissette, Rene, 2003. "Will They Ever Converge? Earnings of Immigrants and Canadian-born Workers over the Last Two Decades," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2003215e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    8. Heisz, Andrew, 2002. "The Evolution of Job Stability in Canada: Trends and Comparisons to U.S. Results," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2002162e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    9. Abdurrahman Aydemir & Mikal Skuterud, 2005. "Explaining the deteriorating entry earnings of Canada's immigrant cohorts, 1966 - 2000," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(2), pages 641-672, May.
    10. Johnson, Anick & Morissette, Rene, 2004. "Earnings of Couples with High and Low Levels of Education, 1980-2000," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2004230e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    11. Ross Finnie & Arthur Sweetman, 2003. "Poverty dynamics: empirical evidence for Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 36(2), pages 291-325, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrew Jackson, 2005. "Productivity and Building Human Capital for the "Bottom Third"," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 11, pages 7-13, Fall.

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