Between 1997 and 2014 the percentage of workers earning minimum wage jumped from 2.4 percent to 11.9 percent. Almost 30 percent of workers are now in low wage jobs. Adding to the squeeze on the middle class is the fact over half of workers are working fewer than 40 hours a week.
What also emerged was that most people in low wage jobs are over 25. People are trying to raise families while stuck in jobs with low pay and no paid time off. As the Toronto Star article pointed out, it means taking time off to look after a sick child can leave families with no money.
The lack of a modern industrial strategy means Canada has been losing good jobs which provide the kind of income and benefits that allow people to raise a family without worrying how they will get by. The traditional role of manufacturing in the Ontario economy means the province has been particularly hard hit by manufacturing job losses. Now with the CCPA study on the growing percent of workers in low wage jobs, we see the consequences.