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CASE STUDY 1: PRECARITY AND ITS IMPACT ON HOUSEHOLD AND COMMUNITY WELL-BEING

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 RESEARCH TEAM 

Project Co-Leads: 

Research Team: 

  • Marcelo Castro, Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood and Community Health Centre
  • Charlene Cook, United Way Toronto & York Region
  • Janet Dassinger, McMaster University
  • Diane Dyson, WoodGreen Community Services
  • Laura Farr, Independent transcriber
  • Mary Gellatly, Parkdale Community Legal Services
  • Luin Goldring, York University
  • Olha Lahotska, McMaster University
  • Yan Lao, McMaster University 
  • Karen Lior, Toronto Workforce Innovation Group
  • Danielle Longo, McMaster University
  • Alan Meisner, Quantacan
  • Heather Platt, McMaster University
  • Stephanie Procyk, United Way Toronto & York Region
  • Dan Rosen, City of Toronto
  • Ivana Saula, McMaster University
  • Sylvain Schetagne, Canadian Labour Congress
  • John Shields, Ryerson University
  • Navjeet Sidhu, Workers United
  • Anthony Tambureno, McMaster University
  • Eden Tefferi, McMaster University
  • Peter Viducis, City of Toronto
  • Sam Vrankulj, McMaster University
  • Beth Wilson, Social Planning Toronto 

RESEARCH ACTIVITY

Objective: The primary work of this case study was the core of the CURA project: two population-based surveys of working-age adults (aged 25-65) in the GTA and Hamilton. The objective of the surveys was to assess the relationship between precarious employment and well-being including individual, family and community well-being.

Key Research Activities and Methodologies:  This project included two comprehensive surveys that served as the basis for the two main PEPSO reports, It’s More than Poverty and The Precarity Penalty.

  • Survey 1: A total of 4,165 qualified respondents completed the phone survey conducted via random digit dialing in 2011/2012. This survey was the basis for the report It’s More than Poverty.
  • Survey 2: A total of 4,193 qualified respondents completed the phone survey conducted via random digit dialing in 2014. This survey was the basis for the report The Precarity Penalty.

These surveys covered questions on the form and prevalence of precarious employment; the characteristics of the precariously employed; and the interactions of precarity with income, employment relationships, discrimination, health, household well-being, children, and community participation.

PEPSO commissioned Leger Marketing to conduct the PEPSO surveys. The sample consisted of residents of:

  • Toronto
  • Surrounding GTA municipalities (Ajax, Brampton, Markham, Milton, Mississauga, Oakville, Pickering, Richmond Hill, Toronto, Vaughan)
  • Hamilton
  • Burlington

An additional source of data was a series of intensive interviews with individuals in precarious employment. 

  • Round 1 of interviews: The first round of interviews was conducted between the fall of 2010 and late 2011. In total 83 individuals were interviewed. These interviews were conducted for the report It’s More than Poverty.
  • Round 2 of interviews: The second round of interviews was conducted in early 2015. In total, 28 individuals were interviewed. These interviews were conducted for the report The Precarity Penalty.

  The key findings include:

  • The labour market is changing, and many workers today are in precarious jobs. Only 60% of all workers in the GTA-Hamilton region are in stable, secure jobs. Everyone else is working in a situation with some degree of precarity.
  • Precarious employment has a major impact on the wellbeing of individuals and their families. For example, workers in less secure low-income employment are more than twice as likely to report poorer mental health than those in more secure high-income employment.
  • There are practical solutions that will give people in precarious jobs a pathway to more stability and security.

 PUBLICATIONS

Cunningham, I., Baines, D., & Shields, J. (Forthcoming). Austerity, Precarity and Workers' Voice: Is representation happening for the precarious workforce in non-union, community services? In S. Procyk, W. Lewchuk & J. Shields (Eds.), Precarious Employment: Causes, Consequences and Remedies. Winnipeg: Fernwood Publishing. [Read]

Dyson, D., & Akter, N. (Forthcoming). The Immigrant Discount: How provincial labour standards are ignored on the edges of the labour market. In S. Procyk, W. Lewchuk & J. Shields (Eds.), Precarious Employment: Causes, Consequences and Remedies. Winnipeg: Fernwood Publishing. [Read] 

Lewchuk, W., & Procyk, S. (Forthcoming). What to do about precarity? In S. Procyk, W. Lewchuk & J. Shields (Eds.), Precarious Employment: Causes, Consequences and Remedies. Winnipeg: Fernwood Publishing. [Read]

Lewchuk, W., Procyk, S., & Shields, J. (Forthcoming). Introduction: Precarious Employment, Families and Communities. In S. Procyk, W. Lewchuk & J. Shields (Eds.), Precarious Employment: Causes, Consequences and Remedies. Winnipeg: Fernwood Publishing. [Read]

Lewchuk, W., & Laflèche, M. (2017). Precarious employment: what it means for workers and their families. In R. Burke and K. Page (Eds.), Research Handbook on Work and Well-Being (pp. 150-170). Edward Elgar. [Read]

Lewchuk, W. (2016). The Precarity Penalty: How Insecure Employment Disadvantages Workers and Their FamiliesAlternate Routes: A Journal of Critical Social Research, 27, 87-108. [Read]

Lewchuk, W., & Dassinger, J. (2016). Precarious employment and precarious resistance:“we are people still”Studies in Political Economy, 97(2), 143-158. [Read]

Lewchuck, W., & Laflèche, M. (2014). Precarious Employment and Social OutcomesJust Labour, 22, 45-50. [Read]

Lewchuck, W., & Laflèche, M. (2014). It's about more than wages: The social impact of precarious employmentCanadian Dimension, 48(3), 24-26. [Read]

Lewchuk, W., Laflèche, M. & Vrankulj, S. (2014). Bridging the Gap. In D. Baines & S.McBride (Eds.), Orchestrating Austerity: Impacts and Resistance (pp. 106-117). Fernwood Publishing. [Read]

Lewchuk, W., Laflèche, M., Dyson, D., Goldring, L., Meisner, A., Procyk, S., Rosen, D., Shields, J., Viducis, P., & Vrankulj, S. (2014). Is Precarious Employment Low Income Employment? The Changing Labour Market in Southern OntarioJust Labour, 22, 51-73. [Read]

Lewchuk, W. (2013). Has there been a She-covery? The financial crisis of 2008 and its impact on the Ontario labour marketIndustrial Relations/Relations Industrielles, 68(1), 25-45. [Read]

Lewchuk, W. (2013). The Limits of Voice: Are Workers Afraid to Express their Health and Safety Rights? Osgoode Law Journal, 50(4), 789-812. [Read]

Lewchuk, W., Clarke, M. & de Wolff, A. (2012). Precarious Employment and Occupational Health and Safety in Ontario. In J. Peters (Ed.), Boom, Bust and Crisis: Labour, Corporate Power and Politics in Canada (pp. 163-177). Halifax, NS: Fernwood Publishing. [Read]

Martin, J. C. (2016). The Game: Easier or Tougher? A Study of Hamilton Millenials and Self-Employment. School of Labour Studies, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON. [Read]

PEPSO. (2013). It's More than Poverty: Employment Precarity and Household Well-being. PEPSO, McMaster University and United Way Toronto. [Read]

PEPSO. (2015). The Precarity Penalty: The Impact of Precarious Employment on Individuals, Households and Communities - And What to Do About It. PEPSO, McMaster University and United Way Toronto. [Read]

 

 

 

 

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