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  • CCPA welcomes Randy Robinson as new Ontario Director March 27, 2019
    The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is pleased to announce the appointment of Randy Robinson as the new Director of our Ontario Office.  Randy’s areas of expertise include public sector finance, the gendered rise of precarious work, neoliberalism, and labour rights. He has extensive experience in communications and research, and has been engaged in Ontario’s […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • 2019 Federal Budget Analysis February 27, 2019
    Watch this space for response and analysis of the federal budget from CCPA staff and our Alternative Federal Budget partners. More information will be added as it is available. Commentary and Analysis  Aim high, spend low: Federal budget 2019 by David MacDonald (CCPA) Budget 2019 fiddles while climate crisis looms by Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood (CCPA) Budget hints at priorities for upcoming […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Boots Riley in Winnipeg May 11 February 22, 2019
    Founder of the political Hip-Hop group The Coup, Boots Riley is a musician, rapper, writer and activist, whose feature film directorial and screenwriting debut — 2018’s celebrated Sorry to Bother You — received the award for Best First Feature at the 2019 Independent Spirit Awards (amongst several other accolades and recognitions). "[A] reflection of the […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • CCPA-BC welcomes Emira Mears as new Associate Director February 11, 2019
    This week the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – BC Office is pleased to welcome Emira Mears to our staff team as our newly appointed Associate Director. Emira is an accomplished communications professional, digital strategist and entrepreneur. Through her former company Raised Eyebrow, she has had the opportunity to work with many organizations in the […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Study explores media coverage of pipeline controversies December 14, 2018
    Supporters of fossil fuel infrastructure projects position themselves as friends of working people, framing climate action as antithetical to the more immediately pressing need to protect oil and gas workers’ livelihoods. And as the latest report from the CCPA-BC and Corporate Mapping Project confirms, this framing has become dominant across the media landscape. Focusing on pipeline […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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The Progressive Economics Forum

January Job Gain Part-time, Self-employment

As usual, the monthly Labour Force Survey numbers headline seems to tell a different story than the underlying numbers. According to the LFS, Canada added 35,000 jobs in January. A statistically significant number of jobs, hurray!

But wait. Those were all part time jobs. We lost 10,000 full time jobs, and added 47,000 part-time jobs.

Oh, and they were all through self-employment. We lost nearly 6,000 jobs, but 41,000 Canadians entered the labour market through self-employment.

In fact, compared to last January, half of all employment growth was through self-employment, with an increase of over 68,000 self-employed workers. The overwhelming majority of those workers  were in the most precarious self-employment category – unincorporated with no paid help. Between January 2014 and January 2015, there was an increase of 53,500 self-employed workers who were unincorporated with no paid help. (All of this data is not seasonally adjusted).

Another sign of concern is the number of involuntary part-time workers, discouraged workers, and those waiting for jobs that start in a couple of months.

The underemployment rate has fallen by less than the unemployment rate has. This is most clearly shown by calculating the ratio of the two. Using seasonally unadjusted data, and comparing the last ten Januaries, the ratio of underemployment to unemployment is markedly higher in January 2015.

Underoverun

 

All of this points to underlying weakness in the Canadian labour market, on top of bleak prospects for the near term. The mayors are meeting in Toronto this week, and asking for stable funding to build much needed infrastructure. The weakness in the labour market is just one more reason that the federal government should listen very closely to what the mayors are asking for.

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