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Perspectives on Labour and Income

June 2008 issue

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Fathers' use of paid parental leave

Abstract: In 2001, shareable parental leave benefits under the federal Parental Benefits Program increased from 10 to 35 weeks, and in 2006 Quebec introduced its Parental Insurance Program. These changes led to a significant increase in the number of fathers claiming paid parental leave benefits. Between 2000 and 2006, the proportion of fathers claiming parental benefits jumped from 3% to 20%. The most common reasons for fathers not claiming the benefits were family choice, difficulty taking time off work and financial issues.

Changes in family wealth

Abstract: Buoyed by rising incomes coupled with stable inflation and low interest rates, Canadians went on a spending spree between 1999 and 2005. However, much of the increased spending was financed through credit, as the personal savings rate slumped and per capita debt jumped. This paper divides families into seven cohorts, based on the year of birth of the major income recipient, and compares family assets and debts in 2005 with the situation in 1999 to provide a rough life-cycle portrait of Canadian families.

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