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

Articles and reports: 11F0019M2005248


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.

Issue Number: 2005248
Author(s): Morissette, René; Picot, Garnett
FormatRelease dateMore information
PDFApril 25, 2005