• Loan program makes dreams possible for newcomers aiming to upgrade their skills

    Windmill, formerly known as Immigrant Access Fund Canada, received a $1 million grant from TD Bank as one of 10 winners of a challenge for fresh ideas to increase income stability and give people the skills for the future economy… Since its inception, the charity has helped more than 4,000 immigrants and refugees restart their careers in Canada, and many have seen their earnings double or triple as a result. More than half of recipients are in health care, including doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists and medical technicians. The loan repayment rate is 97.5 per cent.

  • Ministry of Labour puts hold on proactive workplace inspections, internal memo says

    Employment standards inspections deal with basic workplace issues such as unpaid wages and overtime. Proactive inspections, which are initiated at the behest of the ministry, are far more effective at recovering unpaid wages, including public holiday pay and overtime, than when individual workers file complaints, according to the ministry’s own data… the move is motivated by a significant backlog of employment standards claims filed by workers — exacerbated by a “discretionary spending freeze and subsequent suspension of recruitment” at the ministry.

  • Minimum wage hike a necessity and must be preserved

    Today, nearly two million people in Ontario will put in a hard day’s work for little money. Their paycheques won’t even cover the basic necessities, so they will likely have to deny themselves and their children of items such as healthy food, medicine, new shoes or books for school — things many of us take for granted.

  • Public and social services jobs: the economic lifeline in communities across Ontario

    To sum up: public and social service jobs are not only one in four jobs in the province, but also the jobs more likely, on average, to provide a middle-class lifestyle akin to what manufacturing jobs offered previous generations. They are Ontario’s last reservoir of middle-class jobs… And if individuals and families rely on public and social sector jobs to secure decent income, so do communities. Twenty-six percent is the average proportion of public and social sector jobs in Ontario.

  • Good job prospects improving in the GTA — but only for some, report finds

    The prospect of finding a good job in the GTA has improved overall since 2011 — but race, gender and a university education still determine your likelihood of landing one, a new report shows…. For racialized women, even those with a higher education failed to see an increase in secure employment — and those without a post-secondary degree continued to be the lowest paid in the region.

  • Canada’s unemployment rate plunges to lowest in 40 years

    The jobless rate fell to 5.7 per cent in December, Statistics Canada said Friday in Ottawa, the lowest in the current data series that begins in 1976. The number of jobs rose by 78,600, bringing the full-year employment gain to 422,500. That’s the best annual increase since 2002. The gain of 78,600 positions far exceeded the expectations of analysts… The nation added 394,200 full-time jobs last year, the biggest gain since 1999

  • Ignore Trump’s whining. It turns out U.S. manufacturing was surging all along

    Developing countries now have a comparative advantage in assembling components with a lot of unspecialized labour. This has become low-end manufacturing, but nobody complains (or should complain) as this specialization has allowed a large number of poor countries to escape poverty, a huge historical shift. The comparative advantage of rich countries has moved to high-end research and development, conception, design, engineering, complex manufacturing (such as 3D printing), logistics, and distribution.

  • Tribunal slams WSIB practice that cuts benefits to injured migrant workers

    A workers’ compensation board practice that slashes benefits to injured migrant farm workers by deeming them capable of finding alternative employment in Ontario is illegal, an independent tribunal has ruled… under the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, employers can deport workers for “non-compliance, refusal to work, or any other sufficient reason.”

  • Ontario is complicit in precarious employment

    Thanks to a complex web of loopholes, employers have offloaded much of the liability and risk of maintaining permanent staff to these temp agencies, which insulate them from the financial consequences of workplace accidents… higher premiums have no lasting consequences for a temp agency that can disappear with the click of a mouse and rebrand itself the next day… it’s not just precarious workers who face extra peril, but all taxpayers and businesses who pay a price for this sleight of hand by the unseen hand of temporary agencies.

  • Premier Kathleen Wynne announces Ontario will boost minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2019

    … new technology, a shrinking manufacturing sector and fewer union jobs, among other factors, have left approximately one-third of Ontario’s 6.6 million workers vulnerable… The minimum wage will rise to $14 an hour on Jan. 1, 2018 and is set to increase to $15 the following year. About 10 per cent of Ontario workers are currently making minimum wage, but about 30 per cent are making less than $15 an hour — the majority of them women.