Canada Lags in Job Quality
The 2017 OECD Employment Outlook provides an assessment of member country performance in terms of the quantity and quality of employment as judged by a new set of key indicators.
Overall, we do well in terms of job quantity. The employment rate (the proportion of the working age population with jobs) stands at 72.5% compared to an OECD average of 66.4%. However, the Scandinavian countries rank higher for this indicator (eg Sweden, 75.5%.)
It is interesting to note that the employment rate in the United States is, at 68.7%, just a bit above the OECD average. Poor job quality does not provide an obvious boost to jobs.
The gap between the employment rate of prime age men and disadvantaged groups (each of youth, older workers, young mothers, persons with disabilities) is slightly below average in Canada, but well below leading countries.
The annual gender earnings gap in Canada is slightly worse than the OECD average of 39.0% – women earn 39.7% less here than do men, compared to a gap of 24.4% in Sweden. And unlike most other countries, progress in closing the gender gap has stalled.
Where we fare especially badly is in terms of low income. The low income rate for the working age population (percentage with incomes below one half of median annual income) is 12.8% in Canada compared to an average of 10.6% for the OECD, and just 9.4% in Sweden and 6.7% in Denmark.
Canada could and should be doing much better.