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December 2004
Vol. 5, no. 12

Perspectives on Labour and Income

Duration of non-standard employment
Costa Kapsalis and Pierre Tourigny

  • While most working Canadians are standard workers, the majority of new entrants to the labour market, or re-entrants following a period of joblessness, are initially non-standard workers. About 60% of individuals who moved from no employment in 1999 into employment in either 2000 or 2001 originally found non-standard jobs.
  • Once engaged in non-standard employment, the majority of workers remain in such jobs for an extended period of time. More than half (54%) of the 5.0 million people in non-standard jobs in 1999 maintained this form of employment throughout the following two years.
  • A high proportion of persons who were self-employed in 1999 were in the same type of work two years later (68% of own-account workers and 76% of employers). In contrast, only 31% of full-time and 18% of part-time temporary workers held the same type of job in both 1999 and 2001.
  • Persons in temporary full-time jobs in 1999 were the most likely of all types of non-standard workers to have found standard employment by 2001 (39%, compared with only 7% of employers).

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Costa Kapsalis and Pierre Tourigny are with Data Probe Economic Consulting Inc. They can be reached at (613) 726-6597 or at This article is based on research originally conducted for Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.

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