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Has Work Become More Insecure And Unequal In Canada?

1704 words - 7 pages

Inequality, regarding the workplace and workforce, refers to a state of being which involves an absence of opportunity, fairness, and equality, coupled with the presence of extreme variability for a person or group. This extreme variability in work related conditions can lead to the development of strong feelings of insecurity in any person who has experienced such inequality. Insecurity is a feeling or situation people may experience where there is uncertainty, instability, a lack of safe working conditions, and feelings of doubt about work etc. One can argue that inequality leads to insecurity or vice versa; where negative experiences, continuing over extended periods in the market, lead to another group of negative experiences for the groups in question.
Starting with a broad perspective on income inequality in Canada, we can see the difference between the top 10% of earners and the rest of the population. The majority of economic growth went to the richest 10%. The top 1% acquired 12.2% of all incomes. All Canadian families, save for the top 10%, were working more hours compared to about 10 years ago, but incomes stagnated. This lack of growth negatively affected the middle class. This squeeze came in the form of 30 years of stuck wages, increases in housing prices, high debt, low-savings, more precarious work, two income households, and a decrease in unionization rates of 8% over the last 10 years. The poorest in Canada did much worse. Canada’s poorest worked more hours too, but their earnings fell from about 15000 in 1976 to 11000 in 2006. (The Conference Board of Canada, 2011)
To be more specific, we can divide the poor and disadvantaged into their distinct groups. Women today, earn around 72 cents for every dollar that a comparable man earns, specifically in sales and service occupations.(The Conference Board of Canada, 2009) This wage discrepancy, coupled with the unpaid work a woman does in the household is a cause for concern. Women have dealt with the domineering issues of patriarchy in the past, which some say, is still entrenched in our current system of capitalism. In this sense, women are still seen as the primary tenders of all things household and now that many women have entered the workforce due to an expansion of service-sector jobs, increases in educational attainment, a declining birthrate, and a need to support their children; many women now deal with the taxing effects of the double-day. (Krahn, Lowe, Hughes, 2008) This expansion of service-sector jobs had led women into all kinds of part-time, precarious work. Women in single parent homes fare much worse in this situation as 35% of single-mother households had incomes below the LICO whereas only 5% of two parent households experienced this low level of income. (Krahn, Lowe, Hughes, 2008.) Women also tend to be clustered into certain types of occupations, many of which pay and offer less than what a man would make. It can be noted that this divide...

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