September 2nd is Labour Day. What better time then to take a look at unemployment rates and the state of labour in our country?
The unemployment rate is down, but that doesn’t mean much when inequality is this bad. Many Canadians can’t afford to have adequate food in their cupboards, or to send their kids to day care, or have health care to stay healthy, or transportation to get to and from work. Why is this?
- The majority of jobs pay less than $20/hr.
- The cost of living in some areas is beyond the reach of many even for couples who both work full time.
- When pay is less than the cost of child care, what’s the point of the employment?
The magnitude of financial instability in this country has been understated. So before we celebrate the fact that unemployment rates are at an all time low, maybe we should be talking about exploitation of the labor force?
4 million Canadians experience food insecurity. 1 in 8 household have trouble putting food on the table. I know what saves us is that 1 out of 2 weeks, our kids are staying with their other parents. During that week, we eat the bare minimum, live on ramen noodles. Someone at work once told me that I wasn’t eating healthy because I eat ramen noodles every lunch time. I responded that if I could afford healthy food, trust me I would eat it.
Yes there are more jobs, but precarious employment has increased by nearly 50% over the past 2 decades.
People with disabilities (mental and physical) are twice as likely to live in poverty. That numbers goes up if you are a disabled woman. Do you wonder why I keep talking about disability on this blog? Because there is still so much to achieve in terms of equality.
The First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples are overrepresented among the homeless population in virtually all urban centres in Canada. As a Metis woman with both mental and physical disabilities, things aren’t really looking good now, are they? (FYI – Not all of all leave in reserves).
1 in 5 non-white families are living under the poverty line in Canada. That’s unacceptable.
Poverty costs Canada billions of dollar annually. Isn’t financial wellbeing of the country enough to take a look into this issue?