Precarious Positions: Adapting to the Changes in Canada’s Labour Market

The Conference Board of Canada, April 17, 2018 at 02:00 PM EDT
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Canada’s labour market is being transformed by demographics, globalization and technical change. This is leading to a rise in precarious work. However, there is a lot of confusion about the extent of the changes and the implications. For example, there are many definitions of what constitutes precarious work. In this webinar, Craig Alexander will examine the trends in the labour market in detail. It will look at developments in part-time positions, the rise in full-time contract work, and trends in self employment.

Webinar Highlights

The webinar will discuss the cyclical changes in employment and the significant structural trends. There is also an important dimension of precarious work being taken on voluntarily and workers forced to accept precarious positions involuntarily. Understanding the labour market trends help to inform a discussion about the appropriate policy tools to support workers better. In this webinar, Craig Alexander will discuss policy options, including reforms to the Employment Insurance system and the potential merits of a basic income program.

In this 60-minute webinar, Craig will give a comprehensive analysis of precarious work, such as:

  • Canada has had job creation boom over the last year and the national unemployment rate is near a 30 year low. However, an increasing number of workers are in precarious employment—in other words, positions that are not full-time permanent work.
  • Temporary, contract employment has grown at twice the pace of overall employment.
  • Demographics, globalization and technical change are all contributing to this trend, but among these factors, technological change is likely to dominant driving force.
  • Canada needs to craft policies to better support workers. Existing programs are outdated, as they are still designed for the full-time permanent workers of the past that experience a short-term period of unemployment.

About Craig

Photo of Craig AlexanderCraig Alexander brings more than 20 years of experience in the private sector as an economic and financial forecaster to the position of Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist. Craig oversees the Board’s macroeconomic outlook products and its custom economic and tourism research. He joined The Conference Board of Canada in September 2016.

Most recently, Craig was the Vice-President of Economic Analysis at the CD Howe Institute. Previously, he was Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist for TD Bank Group—the second largest bank in Canada and the eighth largest in the United States. During his tenure, he led a large team of economists providing in-depth analysis to TD’s divisions and clients. Prior to joining the private sector, he spent four years as an economist at Statistics Canada.

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