Poverty & Employment Precarity in Niagara
Precarious employment refers to employment that is not what is sometimes called the Standard Employment Contract. This refers to a permanent, full-time job that pays a living wage with benefits. Thus, precarious employment refers to work that is some combination of part-time, without benefits, seasonal, variable income, on-call, on a limited-term contract or performed by an owner-operated business without employees. In short, there are many kinds of precarious employment. This includes everything from farm workers to waitresses to substitute teachers to computer programmers. Furthermore, sometimes people take precarious employment when they would rather have a standard employment contract; sometimes they prefer precarious employment to a standard employment contract.
This study, (which is designed to be comparable with the results of a report published in 2015 on precarious employment in Hamilton and the Greater Toronto Area) will allow us to understand how widespread precarious employment is in Niagara, the various forms it takes and how this impacts those in precarious employment, and if it is different from precarious employment in Hamilton and Toronto.
This information is useful because it helps with understanding the needs and experiences of Niagara’s residents. However, this information should also be useful for local governments, non-profits, schools and employers as they develop their own labour market and social service policies. We might also use this information to write academic papers about precarious employment.