Toronto Metropolitan University
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The Precarity Penalty: How Insecure Employment Disadvantages Workers and Their Families

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posted on 2023-07-24, 20:18 authored by Wayne Lewchuk, Michelynn Laflèche, Stephanie Procyk, Charlene Cook, Diane Dyson, Luin Goldring, Karen Lior, Alan Meisner, John ShieldsJohn Shields, Anthony Tambureno, Peter Viducis

This paper examines the social and economic effects of precarious employment in the Greater Toronto-Hamilton area. The analysis is based on data from two surveys conducted in 2011 and in 2014 by the Poverty and Employment Precarity in Southern Ontario (PEPSO) research group. The survey findings paint a picture of how low earnings and economic uncertainty translate into delayed formation of relationships, lower marriage rates for workers under the age of 35, and fewer households with children. They also suggest that workers in precarious employment are more likely to experience social isolation. These findings suggest that the Precarity Penalty is not limited to economic outcomes from employment but also includes disadvantages in establishing healthy households and being engaged in one's community. Workers in secure employment enjoy better economic outcomes from employment that provide the basis for better household wellbeing and increased social integration. While much has been made in recent years of the unequal distribution of income, the PEPSO study also points to the unequal distribution of many of the non-financial aspects of life that people value including companionship, having a family and having friends.




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