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Cover: Perspectives on labour and income

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Perspectives on labour and income

Winter 1994 (Vol. 6, No. 4)

Work-related sexual harassment (PDF)
Holly Johnson

  • According to the 1993 Violence Against Women Survey, in the previous 12 months approximately 389,000 or 6% of all employed women aged 18 and over had experienced at least one form of work-related sexual harassment.
  • Young women and single women, as well as some women with postsecondary education, were the most likely to have been harassed.
  • As might be expected, the lifetime rate of work-related sexual harassment was much higher than the past year's rate—23% of Canadian women, about 2.4 million, have encountered work-related sexual harassment.

David Foot discusses career paths (PDF)
Doreen Duchesne

  • "The career path has to change. You can no longer expect to be linearly promoted to the top; now you've got to have a spiral career path. You've got to mix lateral with promotional moves. This means that the age of the specialist is going, and the age of the generalist is re-emerging. The specialist can do only one occupation, whereas lateral moves often are associated with changes in occupation and in the sort of skills needed."
  • "There are a lot of overworked people now in their mid-forties to their early fifties, who have their mortgages largely paid off, who might willingly work four days a week for 80% salary. Or three days a week for 60% salary. Or nine months of a year for 75% salary. Management saves huge bucks by doing this, because it's the highest-paid workers who are most likely to take advantage of this opportunity. Furthermore, half of a senior manager's salary pays the full salary of a new, young labour market entrant."

Baby boom women (PDF)
Diane Galarneau

  • The "baby boom" spanned two decades. This article divides baby boom women into two cohorts or "waves": those born between 1946 and 1955 and the others between 1956 and 1965.
  • In 1971, 54% of the first wave of the baby boom women who were then aged 16 to 25 were in the labour force. This compared with 39% of all women that year. Ten years later, 70% of second-wave baby boom women (aged 16 to 25) were in the labour force.
  • Increasingly, baby boom women were postponing marriage. At ages 26 to 35, 20% of second-wave women had never married, compared with 14% of the first wave and 11% of pre-boom women (those born between 1936 and 1945) at the same age.
  • Baby boom women had more formal education than did the previous generation. As well, the level of educational attainment of the second wave surpassed that of the first. At ages 26 to 35, 16% of second-wave women were university graduates. The corresponding figures were 13% for first-wave women and just 5% for pre-boom women.
  • As each wave aged and upgraded its education, the proportions in managerial and male-dominated professional positions increased. Second-wave women were considerably more likely than the first wave to hold such occupations.

Adults living solo (PDF)
Susan Crompton

  • Over the past decade, the proportion of people aged 30 to 54 living alone has almost doubled; by 1993, they totalled close to one million, accounting for 9.2% of all adults in this age group.
  • The greatest increase was among men, 10.9% of whom lived alone in 1993, compared with 6.9% in 1982; the corresponding figures for women were 7.5% and 5.5%.
  • In 1993, women living alone were more likely than women in larger households to be working—76% versus 68%. However, the employment rates of solo women depended on their marital status: those who had never married had a much higher rate (82%) than those who were separated/divorced (69%) or the few who were widowed (58%).
  • On the other hand, solo men were less likely than those in larger households to be employed—74% compared with 84%.
  • A higher proportion of employed solos than non-solos held white-collar jobs: 37% versus 33% for men and 53% versus 39% for women.
  • In 1992, the average annual income of solos aged 30 to 54 was $30,750, slightly above that of non-solos in the same age group ($29,000).
  • One in seven solo householders—132,000 or 15%—did not work in 1992. Government transfer payments were the major source of income for most (83%) of them. This translated into an annual average income of $10,500.

Three large urban areas in transition (PDF)
Marie Brodeur and Diane Galarneau

  • The three largest census metropolitan areas (CMAs), that is, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, together accounted for a third of all employment in Canada in 1991.
  • During the 1971 to 1991 period, the shift in Canada's industrial structure toward a service-based economy was reflected in these three urban areas. This movement reduced the goods-producing share of total employment in each CMA.
  • In both Montreal and Toronto, the largest manufacturing employment losses were primarily in the same industries: clothing and textiles, metal fabricating, and electrical products. Vancouver's greatest manufacturing loss occurred in the wood industry.
  • The number of workers in services increased steadily in all three CMAs from 1971 to 1991. During these 20 years, service sector employment rose 75% in Montreal and more than doubled in both Toronto and Vancouver.
  • The fastest growing industry in each CMA was financial and commercial services; from 1971 to 1991, employment doubled in Montreal, while in both Toronto and Vancouver, numbers almost tripled.

High income families (PDF)
Abdul Rashid

  • The average family income in 1990 was $51,300. Families in the top percentile had an income of at least $185,000. Their average income was $295,300.
  • Families in the top percentile received nearly 6% of all family income, 18% of all investment income and 24% of all income from self-employment (excluding farm self-employment).
  • High income families were highly concentrated in managerial, legal and medical occupations and tended to work beyond the usual age of retirement.
  • Self-employment was 3.5 times more common among parents in high income families (32%) than in all families (9%).
  • Seventy-four percent of wives in high income families were employed. One in four wives had an income between $50,000 and $100,000 and nearly one in five had an income of $100,000 or more. On average, they contributed 20% to family income in 1990.

Autumn 1994 (Vol. 6, No. 3)

The labour market: Mid-year review
Deborah Sunter

The hours people work (PDF)
Deborah Sunter and René Morissette

  • At the turn of the century, workers typically put in 60-hour weeks spread over six days. By 1960, the work week was reduced to 37 to 40 hours over five days. This "standard" has changed little since then.
  • Some of the stability in the length of the work week since 1960 may be attributable to workers' opting for non-wage benefits instead of shorter weeks.
  • The overall stability of the standard work week masks changes in the distribution of hours, especially since the 1981-82 recession. By 1993, only 61% of paid workers put in 35 to 40 hours per week, down from 71% in 1976.

Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! (PDF)
Henry Pold

  • This article looks at full- and part-time jobs rather than the conventional measures of full- and part-time workers.
  • Almost half (46%) of the 3.5 million additional jobs over the last 18 years have come from part-time jobs. By 1993, almost one-quarter of all jobs provided less than 30 hours of work per week.
  • Since 1975, the number of part-time jobs has increased every year (at an average annual rate of 4.5%), reaching 2.9 million in 1993. The number of full-time jobs, while also generally increasing over the two decades (1.2% annually), fell sharply during the last two recessions.
  • By 1993, almost 20% of part-time jobs (581,000) belonged to self-employed individuals (versus less than 12% in 1975). The large majority of these jobs were one-person operations. More than half (56%) of part-time jobs were filled by 25 to 54 year-olds in 1993, up from 48% in 1975. In contrast, the share held by youths (15 to 24 years) fell from 40% to only 34%.
  • The three industries with the highest proportions of part-time jobs in 1993—accommodation, food and beverage services; other services; and retail trade—all deal directly with individual consumers.

Voluntary part-time workers (PDF)
Ron Logan

  • For a variety of reasons, many part-time workers do not want or cannot take full-time employment. In 1993, 43% of voluntary part-timers were attending school, and an almost equal number (42%) said that they were simply not interested in a full-time job. Another 13% cited personal or family responsibilities, while 2% were constrained by illness or disability.
  • Since 1975, the number of voluntary part-time workers has increased by 57% (to 1.4 million), compared with a 33% increase in total employment. By 1993, voluntary part-time workers represented 11.2% of all employment versus 9.5% in 1975. However, as a percentage of all part-time workers, the proportion of voluntary workers has fluctuated with the business cycle.
  • Although women made up 45% of the total workforce in 1993, they constituted 71% of voluntary part-time workers. One in five women working part time because of personal or family responsibilities was self-employed.
  • Voluntary part-timers are relatively young. In 1993, 15 to 24 year-olds made up 44% of all voluntary part-timers, but just 16% of all workers.
  • Three occupation groups—service, clerical, and sales—accounted for almost two-thirds of voluntary part-timers, but less than half of all workers.

Involuntary part-timers (PDF)
Nathalie Noreau

  • An average of 760,000 workers were forced to accept part-time work because they were unable to find full-time jobs. In 1993, they represented 35% of all part-time workers in Canada. This proportion has more than tripled since the mid-1970s.
  • Involuntary part-time employment tends to follow the business cycle and moves in tandem with unemployment. Both these indicators declined during the expansion years between 1983 and 1989. But while the unemployment rate returned to its 1980 level, the involuntary part-time rate remained well above what it had been in 1980. Therefore, the overall improvement in the employment situation concealed persistent underemployment.
  • Women constitute the majority of involuntary part-timers. A total of 510,000 women were involuntary part-time workers in 1993, more than double the number of men (250,000). For both men and women, proportions peak at ages 25 to 44.
  • Involuntary part-time employment varies according to industry. In 1993, rates for men were higher in the goods-producing sector than in services, whereas in 1980 the rates had been virtually identical. By contrast, women in services continued to have a higher rate than those in goods throughout the period.

Ever more moonlighters (PDF)
Gary Cohen

  • Back in the 1970s, most moonlighters were men. Today, nearly as many women as men moonlight. The incidence of multiple jobholding has climbed much more sharply for women (from 1.8% in 1977 to 5.3% in 1993) than for men (2.8% to 4.9%).
  • Multiple jobholding is more prevalent among highly educated workers. In 1993, the rate among workers with an advanced education (either a postsecondary certificate/diploma or a university degree) was 5.7% compared with 4.5% for other workers.
  • Individuals holding more than one job in 1993 were more likely to work in the service sector (5.3%) than in the goods sector (4.4%). Agriculture recorded the highest industry rate (8.3%), followed by education services (7.2%) and health and social services (6.5%).
  • Moonlighting is much more common among workers whose main job is part-time (usually less than 30 hours per week) than among those whose main job is full-time. In 1993, the rate was 8.4% among "part-timers, but only 4.3% among "full-timers."
  • The incidence of multiple jobholding varies considerably by province. In 1993, Saskatchewan had the highest rate (10.1%), followed by Manitoba (8.4%) and Alberta (7.6%); Newfoundland had by far the lowest (2.7%).

Summer 1994 (Vol. 6, No. 2)

Spending patterns of couples without children (PDF)
Lynn Barr-Telford

  • For those 2.3 million married couples without children at home in 1992, shelter was the single largest expenditure. Shelter took up a fairly constant proportion of all budgets: 23% for both younger (husband less than 45 years) and older (husband aged 65 or over) couples and 21% for middle-age couples.
  • By contrast, food budgets vary considerably. As a proportion of their total spending, older couples' 1992 food expenditures were greatest at 18%. This compares with 15% for middle-age and 13% for younger couples.
  • Older and middle-age couples allocated larger shares of their expenditures to transportation (both 17%) than did younger couples (15%). Clothing budgets tended to be highest among younger couples and declined with advancing age. Expenditures on smoking and drinking were also highest for younger couples.
  • Pension and personal insurance expenditures figured more prominently in the budgets of younger (8%) and middle-age couples (7%) than in the spending of older couples (1%).

Getting there (PDF)
Katherine Marshall

  • On an average weekday in 1992, 9.1 million workers, representing 92% of the employed population, travelled to and from work. Total two-way commuting time averaged 48 minutes. However, 23% of commuters spent more than an hour in transit while, for 15% the round-trip was a mere 15 minutes.
  • The automobile is by far the most common means of commuting. In 1992, 88% of all weekday trips involved automobiles: 69% of commuters used only a car, and another 18% used a car in combination with some other mode of travel. Walking figured in 22% of commutes, while 10% involved public transportation (bus or subway). Only 2% of commuters used bicycles.
  • Toronto and Vancouver residents had the longest commutes, averaging 60 minutes a day. On the other hand, Halifax commuters spent an average of just 38 minutes a day on the road.
  • Exclusive use of the automobile was most common in Edmonton, where this mode was chosen by 75% of commuters. By comparison, only 60% of Ottawa-Hull commuters depended solely on the car. In fact, more than 30% of commuters in Ottawa-Hull walked all or part of the way to and from work.

Left behind: Lone mothers in the labour market (PDF)
Susan Crompton

  • The number of lone mothers with at least one child under the age of six has more than doubled over the last two decades—up from 96,000 in 1976 to 228,000 in 1993. Meanwhile, the number of wives with young children has remained comparatively stable at about 1.4 million.
  • In 1993, 60% of married women with children under six were employed, a percentage almost twice as high as that in 1976. By contrast, only 26% of never-married lone mothers had a job in 1993, down from 1976. The corresponding 1993 proportion for separated or divorced mothers at 44% was only marginally higher than it had been in 1976.
  • As many as 87% of married mothers had recent work experience (employed at the time of the survey or within the last five years). This compares with 81% of separated or divorced mothers and 78% of those who had never married. Furthermore, the proportion of married mothers who had never worked fell steadily to 3% in 1993, as did the percentage of separated or divorced mothers, although their decline was not as sharp. On the other hand, in 1993, 10% of never-married lone mothers had never worked.
  • Employed wives were more likely to have over five years' job tenure; for instance, in 1993, the proportion was 44% for wives compared with 32% for lone mothers. However, average job tenure improved considerably over time for all mothers. It increased by more than one-half for married mothers, from 3.6 years in 1976 to 5.6 years in 1993, and doubled for lone mothers, from 2.3 to 4.6 years.
  • Lone mothers, particularly those who never married, had much less education than wives, a fact that may explain some of the employment disparity between married and lone mothers.

Who gets UI? (PDF)
André Picard

  • More than 1.1 million individuals received regular Unemployment Insurance benefits, on average, each month in 1992, representing a 29% rise since 1989 (the year preceding the recession).
  • Between 1989 and 1992, the increase in the number of regular beneficiaries was much greater among men than among women: 39% versus 17%.
  • Although more than half the beneficiaries were between the ages of 25 and 44, those 45 and over registered the sharpest relative gain between 1989 and 1992.
  • Ontario had by far the largest increase in the number of Unemployment Insurance beneficiaries between 1989 and 1992: more than 155,000 additional beneficiaries, representing close to 60% of the total increase in Canada.
  • Although, on average, blue-collar workers accounted for 41% of all paid workers in the economy between 1989 and 1992, they made up 60% of Unemployment Insurance beneficiaries.

Declining female labour force participation (PDF)
Penny Basset

  • In 1991 for the first time in nearly four decades, the participation rate of women in the labour force reversed its previous trend and began to decline—from 58.4% in 1990 to 58.2% in 1991 and 57.5% in 1993.
  • While women's labour force participation fell for most age groups during the recession , the decline was most pronounced for 15 to 24 year-olds.
  • The increase in women's participation in the labour force in recent decades has been spearheaded by baby boomers who are now in their forties. In the coming years, these women may contribute to a further rise in women's overall participation rate.

Working "9 to 5" (PDF)
Diane Galarneau

  • Of the 6.5 million full-time paid workers with a fixed work schedule in 1991, 88% had adopted a daytime schedule. Over 3% worked in the evening, approximately 1% worked at night and 7% fell into none of these categories.
  • Most (70%) daytime workers started work between 8 and 9 a.m. and left work between 4 and 5 p.m.
  • Workers with a fixed daytime schedule had, on average, more seniority (8.2 years) than other workers with a fixed schedule (6.9 years).

Weekend workers (PDF)
Jennifer Winters

  • In November 1991, 1.1 million persons, or 11% of Canada's employees, worked Saturdays and/or Sundays. Paid workers in ervice-producing industries were twice as likely as those in the goods-producing sector to work weekends (12% compared with 6%).
  • Among paid workers with regularly scheduled weekend hours, 57% worked Saturdays only and 9% Sundays only. The remaining 34% worked both days.
  • Weekend work was most commonly performed by younger workers. Paid workers aged 15 to 24 accounted for 42% of those who regularly worked Saturdays and 45% of those working Sundays.
  • Paid workers in New Brunswick and Ontario were the least likely to work weekends (9%), while those in British Columbia were the most likely (14%).

Spring 1994 (Vol. 6, No. 1)

Employer-supported training—it varies by occupation (PDF)
Susan Crompton

  • Approximately 3.1 million full-time workers aged 20 to 69 took employer-supported education or training in 1991. Over 665,000 full-time workers spent more than 35 hours taking employer-supported training courses in 1991, and about 408,000 were enrolledin education programs.
  • Of these 1.1 million full-time workers, those in white-collar occupations were more likely to be beneficiaries of employer-supported training. Over 1 in 10 white-collar workers spent more than 35 hours "on course" in 1991, compared with fewer than 1 in 20 for both service and blue-collar workers. The pattern was similar for workers enrolled in education programs supported by their employers.
  • Two fields of study accounted for the majority of employer-supported programs or courses taken by these trainees in 1991: commerce, management and business administration; and engineering and applied science technologies and trades (which includes data processing and computer science).
  • Payment of fees was the most common type of support received by trainees taking more than 35 hours of courses (employers paid for 84% of all employer-supported courses), followed by getting time off (77%). While employers also paid the fees for most trainees in education programs (83%), they were less prepared to give time off (56%).
  • Slightly more than two-thirds (69%) of the courses taken by "over-35-hours trainees" in white-collar occupations had been employer-initiated; in the remaining cases, the request for training came most often from the trainees themselves. On the other hand, a far higher proportion of blue-collar trainees (86%) were explicitly asked by their employer to go on course.

A note on the self-initiated training of job-losers (PDF)
Susan Crompton

  • When someone looses a job, what options does that person have? In 1991, some 134,000 job-losers aged 25 to 54 had taken, of their own volition, a certificate, diploma or degree program in an educational institution. By January 1992, almost one-third (31%) of these self-initiated trainees had completed their program; of those who had not completed it, 82% were still enrolled.
  • Compared with job-losers who did not take training (unemployed non-trainees), relatively high proportions of self-initiated trainees had worked in white-collar occupations and in service industries.
  • Self-initiated trainees were relatively young: the majority of them (60%) were aged 25 to 34, compared with fewer than half (46%) of unemployed non-trainees. As well, over one-fifth (21%) of self-initiated trainees were unattached individuals, compared with 16% of unemployed non-trainees.

Recent information on training (PDF)
Ken Bennett

  • The current popular belief in a "lifelong learning culture" has garnered much government, business and media attention on how people acquire new knowledge and skills, who provides the training, the costs involved, and the degree to which this training maintains competitiveness.
  • As a result of several Statistics Canada initiatives started in the mid-1980s, a growing volume of data is now available to answer these questions. These early efforts increased knowledge on the subject and contributed to the improvement of data collection methodologies.
  • In collaboration with survey sponsors, Statistics Canada continues to develop and implement new surveys dealing with the period following the initial years of formal education (e.g. the Adult Education and Training Survey, the National Training Survey, and the Private Schools Survey).

Balancing work and family responsibilities (PDF)
Katherine Marshall

  • More Canadian couples than ever before are juggling family and employment obligations. Dual-earner couples with young children are the most likely to have different work schedules, with at least one partner not working the traditional 9-to-5, Monday-to-Friday work week.
  • The proportion of dual-earner couples with both spouses working full time was 86% for those with no children, but just 66% for those with preschool children at home.
  • Dual-earner couples with no children are the most likely to both work daytime schedules (64%) and weekdays only (60%). Couples with children under six at home have the lowest rates: 57% and 50%, respectively.
  • Women with young children at home have comparatively low labour force participation rates. Only 68% of women with preschool children were in the labour force in 1991. This compares with 84% of women with older children at home and 90% of women without children.
  • Among women with children under six at home, close to a third work part time outside the home. This is more than three times the rate for those with no children.

Youths—waiting it out (PDF)
Deborah Sunter

  • While recessions tend to be difficult for most people, their effects can be especially hard and prolonged for the young. In November 1989, 67% of Canada's youths were in the labour force; by November 1993, this proportion had dropped to only 60%.
  • The proportion of youths aged 15 to 24 who have never held a job rose sharply from 10% in November 1989 to 16% in November 1993.
  • By November 1992, adult employment had surpassed pre-recession levels, but youth employment was still down 376,000 (17%) from three years earlier, and their employment rate languished at 50.0%. As of November 1993, the situation had not improved, with only 49.8% employed.
  • More young people are staying in, or returning to, school. In November 1993, 56% of youths were attending school full time, up from 49% in November 1989.
  • Part-time school attendance edged up over the last four years, from 3% to 4% of the youth population. Labour force participation tends to be very high among these students, as they are able to juggle academic and work demands.

RRSP withdrawals (PDF)
Hubert Frenken and Linda Standish

  • More and more Canadians with RRSP savings are dipping into these funds before the normal retirement age. In 1991, 604,000 Canadians under 65 years of age—22% more than in 1990—cashed in almost $3.2 billion of their RRSP savings, an increase of 27% from the previous year.
  • Provincially, the largest 1991 average withdrawal by individuals under 65 was in Ontario ($5,640), followed by Quebec ($5,340). Ontario also had the highest rate of increase from 1990 to 1991 in the number of persons making withdrawals (29%), which may be associated with the dramatic drop in employment in the province that year.
  • One in four persons under 65 drawing on RRSP savings in 1991 was between 55 and 64, and they withdrew one-third of the $3.2 billion. However, a striking 55% were under the age of 45, and they withdrew 42% of the total.
  • Nearly one in five taxfilers under 65 who withdrew RRSP savings (16% of men and 24% of women) had neither employment nor Unemployment Insurance income.

Perceptions of workplace hazards (PDF)
J. Paul Grayson

  • The extent to which workers perceive themselves to be exposed to potential hazards varies considerably. In 1991, exposure to dust or fibres was claimed by 4.9 million workers; VDTs affected 4.5 million; loud noise 3.7 million; poor air quality, 3.2 million; and dangerous chemicals or fumes, 2.7 million.
  • Men in blue-collar jobs reported the highest levels of perceived exposure to most potential hazards. However, proximity to VDTs was more common in white-collar office jobs, many of which are held by women.
  • A sizeable share of Canadian workers encountered more than one potential hazard on the job. While 29% of workers reported just one hazard, 37% claimed that they were exposed to two or more.
  • A substantial proportion of Canadians exposed to potential workplace hazards believed that their health had been affected. Several health conditions such as allergies and migraine headaches seem to be slightly more prevalent among workers reporting exposure to potential hazards.

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