A report out Friday by Statistics Canada indicates a shifting trend in the country’s labour landscape.
“Since the early 1980s, total employment has shifted away from full-time jobs. The share of all employees aged 17 to 64 working full-time declined from 87 per cent in 1981 to 84 per cent in 2018. But while full-time employment declined from 95 per cent to 91 per cent among men, it remained stable at about 78 per cent among women,” said the federal agency.
“The overall decrease in full-time employment occurred in conjunction with a decline in permanent employment. Consequently, the share of employees aged 17 to 64 in full-time, permanent jobs declined from 80 per cent in 1989 – the first year Statistics Canada collected data on permanent jobs – to 75 per cent in 2018. The share of men in full-time, permanent jobs declined from 88 per cent to 81 per cent over this period, while the share of women in such jobs remained stable at around 70 per cent.”
The StatsCan report said unionization rates also fell from 1981 to 2018. The share of employees aged 17 to 64 belonging to a union declined from 38 per cent to 28 per cent.
“But while the share of female employees belonging to a union remained stable at around 30 per cent, the share of male employees belonging to a union declined from 42 per cent to 26 per cent,” it said.
“A similar trend was evident in terms of pension coverage. Overall, the share of employees with a Registered Pension Plan (RPP) declined from 45 per cent in 1981 to 38 per cent in 2016—the most recent year for which RPP data are currently available. RPP coverage fell by 15 percentage points among male employees, from 51 per cent in 1981 to 36 per cent in 2016. However, RPP coverage increased from 35 per cent to 40 per cent among female employees,” said Statistics Canada.
“The decline in RPP coverage among men was accompanied by a shift away from defined-benefit plans. The decline in defined-benefit plans was far less prevalent among women, at least in part reflecting their increasing presence in public administration, educational services, health care and social assistance over the reference period of the study.”
The federal agency also said median real hourly wages were 13 per cent higher in the first half of 2018 than they were in 1981, with most of the growth occurring after the mid-2000s among full-time jobs and among women.