Whenever we talk about employment statistics in Canada, we always seem to discuss the quantity of jobs. Such and such number of people gained jobs in a given year or this many people lost jobs in a certain period of time. What we never seem to touch on is the quality of the available jobs.
This was the subject of a recent report by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. The bank explored the question of changes in job quality in Canada over the years. And, chances are, you’re not going to like what they said.
Here are some of the report’s key findings:
Increase in part-time employees
The report finds that there has been an increase in the number of part-timers during the recent recession and the post-recession recovery in this area hasn’t been significant.
According to the report, “There was an unmistakable jump in the share of part-timers in the Canadian labour market during the recession. That rate rose from 18% to 20% during the recessionary peak. But at the current 19.3%, that share is still elevated.”
If we look at the data closely, we can say that the increase is mainly due to people over the age of 55. In that sense, the change may only be demographic. The bank, however, disagrees. It cites the increase in part-timers as an example of economic fragility instead of demographics.
Worrying trends in youth employment
While the Prime Minister and the government proudly list their accomplishments when it comes to youth employment, the reality on the ground is much different. According to the report, the number of employed young people with jobs has been on the decline since the 1980s.
Not just that. The increase in low-paying jobs is also at an all-time high. According to the CIBC, “the share of workers who are paid below the average wage has risen over the years to just under 61% in 2015.”
In an age where older workers are stuck with part-time jobs while younger people usually get low-paying ones, how can you say that the economy is booming?