• Shrewd businesses support $15 minimum wage and decent work

    A boost to $15 an hour also gets low-wage workers closer to realizing the benefits of the productivity gains that have been made over the last 40 years. Between 1965 and 1975, the minimum wage roughly tracked productivity gains as both increased over time. However, since 1976, the two have become decoupled and minimum wage earners have not been seeing gains in their pay cheque anywhere near what the economy has seen in terms of productivity growth.

  • Cancel the panic: Canadians have been borrowing like crazy for good reason

    … even with any small forecast increases, interest rates remain low and the Canadian economy has performed adequately in terms of employment with relatively low unemployment rates. Moreover, while these macroeconomic factors are of concern, they should also be kept in context. Despite record high levels of household-sector debt, there are also record high levels of net worth.

  • The Great Minimum Wage Debate: How to Balance Good Intentions and Evidence

    As a whole, they show a range of results, with many showing small to no effects on employment from small wage hikes while others show negative effects among youth and new immigrants.
    A further complication is that industries with the highest concentration of minimum wage workers are also the ones with higher potential for automation… no one can predict with confidence the exact effects from Ontario’s aggressive move from $11.60 to $14.00 per hour next January, and then to $15.00 per hour in 2019.

  • Minimum wage hike won’t bring ‘doom and gloom,’ economists say

    “Doom-and-gloom predictions” about the impact of minimum wage increases on job losses and inflation are not supported by evidence, according to a group of Canadian economists… some 40 economics experts from across the country claim the move “makes good economic sense” and could generate “substantial benefit to low-wage workers, their families and the economy as a whole.”

  • Ontario gets it right with move to higher minimum wage

    For over 20 years now, many highly credible studies have found that the disemployment effects of higher minimum wages are generally very close to zero… Substantial recent research in Canada, the United States and Britain also concludes that higher minimum wages succeed in lifting incomes for low-paid workers and reducing wage inequality… recent minimum wage increases are boosting spending power for low-income workers and reducing inequality.

  • Kathleen Wynne’s precarious workplace reforms fall painfully short

    … she has failed to deal adequately with two aspects of the modern workplace that contribute to job insecurity. One is the growing tendency of firms to pretend that their workers are self-employed contractors. This fiction allows unscrupulous bosses to avoid shelling out for statutory benefits, such as employment insurance and vacation pay. The other is an antiquated labour relations regime that, in an economy no longer dominated by factories, makes it impossibly difficult for unions to organize.

  • Basic income reform would need more taxes: OECD

    Welfare reforms that would introduce public payment of an unconditional basic income to everyone of working age are worth exploring but would do little to combat poverty if not financed by extra tax, the OECD said… if existing benefit systems were abolished and the funds used to pay an unconditional, flat-rate payment for all of working age, the payout would be lower than many welfare beneficiaries currently receive.

  • Basic income hailed as way to give people chance to chase their dreams

    “What if the people who were most at risk — people from low-income and marginalized communities who are living day to day with real challenges — were able to become social entrepreneurs?” … As Ontario embarks on a basic income pilot project that would pay low-income individuals up to $16,989 annually with no strings attached, there is a chance to broaden the social innovation playing field…

  • Wait. What if we’re not actually worse off than our parents?

    Using a database of revenue statistics from 1978-2014 that links the income of Canadians to that of their children, the agency concluded that absolute income mobility has remained fairly stable in the past four decades… people who were born between 1970 and 1984 – Generation X and the first tranche of millennials – exceed their parents’ adjusted family income through their mid-career years in roughly the same proportions as the boomers did.

  • If freer trade kills off these Canadian businesses, it would be better for everyone

    Let markets figure out what works and what doesn’t… one of the best things about trade, though no politician can say so, is that strong competition from foreigners kills a country’s weak firms… Let’s make trade as free as we can — which means much freer than it is — and by all means let’s help losers adjust. But we really do need them to lose.