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Study: Workers in the homelessness support sector

Released: 2019-09-23

Workers in industries and occupations targeted towards providing support to the homeless are more likely to be young, female or have an Aboriginal identity than workers in other sectors, according to data from the 2016 Census. For example, three in four homelessness support sector workers (76.5%) were female, compared with 48.2% of all workers in all occupations. One in 10 reported an Aboriginal identity—more than twice the rate across all occupations. Workers in this sector were also more likely to work part time and had lower earnings.

The paper "A profile of workers in the homelessness support sector," takes a closer look at the composition and characteristics of these workers. It provides a definition of the homelessness support sector and includes information on the geographic distribution, age, sex and visible minority status of workers, as well as on employment, including earnings, low-income status and family characteristics such as the number of children and marital status.

  Note to readers

The paper is based on data collected during the 2016 Census of Population.

This work was done in partnership with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). In 2018, ESDC commissioned Statistics Canada to prepare statistical tables and a short text describing what is known of the characteristics of workers in the homelessness support sector. Related data on homelessness are available on ESDC's website.

This research is part of the ongoing collaboration between the two federal partners, which aims to produce statistics that support policy makers in their exploration of areas of concern regarding homelessness.


The paper "A profile of workers in the homelessness support sector," part of the Income Research Paper Series (Catalogue number75F0002M), is now available.

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