Low oil prices have taken their toll on an already weak Canadian economy, where household debt levels are at record highs and business investment continues to lag. The Bank of Canada held off on a further rate cut this week, opting instead to wait and see the size and structure of fiscal stimulus in the upcoming federal budget.Read more
Data from the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS) which replaced the long- form census indicate that racial status remains a significant factor in shaping advantage and disadvantage in the Canadian job market and in influencing the overall level of poverty and income inequality.
Put bluntly, non-whites do significantly worse than whites, in part because of racial discrimination.Read more
Every month, Statistics Canada comes out with the unemployment rate, and every month it gets a lot of attention. But the unemployment rate provides quite limited information about the actual health of the labour market.
The addition of two other pieces of information nearly doubles the unemployment rate: the proportion of the labour market employed part-time but looking for more work, and the proportion that would like a job but aren’t actively looking for work, and so aren’t officially counted as being in the labour market.Read more
Last month, Statistics Canada released the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS) data on Education and Labour, the most recent dataset of its kind since the 2006 Census. The data illustrate that, following the Great Recession of 2008-09, recent university graduates aged 25 to 34 had a more difficult time finding employment than was the case in 2006. Nevertheless, a university degree appears to have provided a cushion for young people during a time of rising unemployment. While the unemployment rate for recent university grads increased between 2006 (pre-Recession) and 2011 (a year of partial recovery from the Recession), it did so at a lower rate than did the unemployment rate for 25-34 year-olds without a university degree, the youth unemployment rate (15-24 year-olds), and the overall national unemployment rate.Read more
Governments at all levels in Canada have embarked on an austerity agenda that includes reducing public sector employment and efforts to privatize public services. This policy direction will slow economic growth, harm the quality of public services, and the loss of services will have a larger impact on low-income Canadians than higher income Canadians. Along with these other impacts, this austerity agenda will increase income inequality.Read more
The potential for labour market regulation to address income inequality does not end with the Temporary Foreign Workers Program, or the federal government.Read more