New Year – new rules!

There’s been some change in Ontario. Bill 148 means changes to the way some Ontarians experience precarious employment. Read more about the changes by clicking here. The long term impact of the changes is yet to be determined.

What we do know so far is the trend of low wage work relates directly to changes in the minimum wage. Since low wage work is described as 1.5 times the minimum wage, as minimum wage increases, so does the hourly rate which is considered low wage. If workers are paid above a low wage rate and there is no change in pay after a minimum wage increase, they could move to being considered a low wage worker. All five of Ontario’s regions follow a similar low wage trend as of 2000. There was a decrease in the percentage of paid workers with a low wage job in the early 2000s and an increase in years following the 2008 Economic Crisis. In 2012-2013, all five regions saw the highest share of low wage workers since 2000 with Southern Ontario reporting the highest share and Eastern Ontario reporting the lowest.


Automation Nation!

While at a hotel for a wedding I needed shower cap. I pressed 0 on the room phone and asked the front desk attendant to send one up. To my surprise, I received an automated message to the room a few moments later…it was a voice saying, “I’m here with a shower cap at your door”… I opened the door and there was a robot with my shower cap (a little guy named Archie, pictured below). He navigates the hotel by GPS and sensors bringing people what they ask for. Hotel porters are no more.



Self-employment Sentiments

Kawartha Lakes, Centre Wellington, Norfolk (only slightly higher), Chatham-Kent and Collingwood all have more coupled families earning self-employment income than the provincial average. There are high instances of self-employment occurring in smaller towns and remote areas. These areas are more likely than their urban counterparts to also include on-farm self-employment.

Unpacking how self-employment plays into precarious work is an important part of this project!