Paid or unpaid overtime

More employees are working overtime

  • Over one in five employees (22.6%), about 2.9 million, worked paid or unpaid overtime in a given week in 2007. This is an increase from 1997, when 18.6% of all employees worked overtime. In 2007, these employees worked an average 8.6 hours per week in excess of their usual hours, somewhat less than the average 9.3 hours in 1997. Employees were slightly more likely to work unpaid (11.4%) than paid overtime (10.4%) in 2007.

  • Men are more likely to work overtime than women, and when they do, they are usually paid for it, unlike women, whose overtime is normally unpaid. Overall, 25.9% of male employees worked overtime in 2007, 53.8% of whom were paid for the extra hours. A total of 19.1% of female employees worked overtime, almost two-thirds of whom worked the overtime without pay. A higher proportion of adult men work in natural resources, utilities, manufacturing and construction sectors where paid overtime is more common. Adult women are more likely to be working in education and health care and social assistance, sectors most likely to report unpaid overtime.

  • Youth are less likely to work overtime than adult workers, and youth who do work overtime are more likely to be paid to do so. In 2007, 11.6% of employees aged 15 to 24 worked overtime, and of those who did, almost three in four were paid for their overtime hours. Some of the reasons why youth are more likely to be paid for their overtime hours include: youth tend to work fewer hours than adults since many combine school and work; youth are generally paid by the hour versus a salary; they are less attached to their jobs than adults and therefore less willing to work unpaid hours; and they are more likely to work in industries that pay for overtime hours, like retail trade and accommodation and food services.

Chart H.4
Proportion of employees working paid or unpaid overtime, by sex and age, 2007

Chart H.4 Proportion of employees working paid or unpaid overtime, by sex and age, 2007

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, CANSIM table 282-0084.

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