Understanding Employment Precarity and Its Impact in Niagara

Precarious employment is defined as work that is typically part-time, temporary, or contract, and often without longer-term job security and employment-based benefits. It is often called non-standard employment. To better understand employment precarity and its impact in Niagara, PEPiN (Poverty and Employment Precarity in Niagara), recently completed a research study and report, “Uncertain Jobs, Certain Impacts: Employment Precarity in Niagara”. PEPiN is an initiative lead by United Way Niagara and Brock University, made possible with funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

In an effort to replicate similar studies conducted in other Ontario cities by the Poverty and Employment Precarity in Southern Ontario (PEPSO) research group, the PEPiN study analyzed survey results from a random sampling of 713 employed Niagara residents in the summer of 2017. PEPiN contracted Leger, the same survey research group which conducted the other PEPSO studies, to survey participants on their experience with precarious work, mental health, general health, and overall quality of life.

After evaluating answers to survey questions completed by phone interviews, results indicated that precarious employment has a significant impact on the individuals, families and communities it touches, and that these impacts are indeed widespread and pervasive in Niagara. In fact, statistics gathered to inform the PEPiN study show that:

  • Only forty-eight percent of all workers in the 12 local-area municipalities of Niagara region have stable, secure full-time jobs resulting from what is called a standard employment relation (SER). All other employees are working in situations with some measure of precariousness. This includes jobs without benefits and jobs with uncertain futures.
  • In Niagara, precarity has been most prevalent among young adults (25-34 years of age), older adults, and foreign-born individuals who have been in Canada 20 or fewer years. However, precarity is found among all demographic groups.
  • In Niagara, being precariously employed is has the most significant effects when you’re earning a low income — and it’s found across all income levels, hurting everyone who experiences it.
  • Precarious employment has a harmful effect on individuals, children and families. It can damage the social fabric that ties together our communities because it makes it more difficult for people to form relationships and plan spending time with family and friends.
  • Employer-provided health benefits are a regular feature of secure work but are very rare among precarious workers.
    Study results also revealed critical information about the relationship between precarious employment and health, and indicated important demographic trends with regards to precarious work. Finally, the report concludes with a list of recommendations, aimed at government and employers, to reduce the incidence of precarious employment and to mitigate its impacts.

This research project is an important first step and I encourage you to consider how your own organization can use this information in an evidence-informed decision-making process to encourage meaningful action.

Lori Kleinsmith
Health Promoter, Bridges Community Health Centre
lori.kleinsmith@bridgeschc.ca

Additional Resources
BLOG | Getting Hard Data in Niagara on the Hard Truth of Employment Uncertainty
REPORT | Uncertain Jobs, Certain Impacts: Employment Precarity in Niagara
ADDITIONAL REPORTS FROM PEPSO | Reports on precarious employment research from other communities

Niagara Knowledge Exchange & Community Calendar

Sep
20
Thu
Grantham Lioness Alzheimer Coffee Break @ Grantham Lions Club
Sep 20 @ 8:00 am – 11:00 am

Join the Grantham Lioness Club for homemade assorted coffee cakes and desserts.

Funds raised will stay in Niagara to help with programs and services of the Alzheimer Society of Niagara Region.

This event is hosted by the Grantham Lioness Club.

Addressing the Pull of the Gang: Engaging Hard to Reach Youth @ Online
Sep 20 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

In the first of his two part Youth Justice Mini-Series, Nick Brown will provide practical program examples of how to engage with youth who are currently involved in, or nearly involved with, gang activity, speaking from personal and professional experience.

Based on his recent experience with programs targeting youth involved with gangs in a Southwestern Ontario city, Mr. Brown will discuss the importance of asset mapping, establishing boundaries, ‘meeting people where they are at’, and being able to identify and act on the ‘recipe for the birth of a gang’. This webinar sets the groundwork for the next in the series “Mediation and Conflict Resolution”.

This webinar is hosted by Umind.

2018 Alzheimer Coffee Break Kickoff @ Meridian Credit Union
Sep 20 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

You’re invited to join Meridian Credit Union for the 2018 Alzheimer Coffee Break Kickoff.

Lunch with Wade Stayzer, Senior Vice President and Chief Member Experience Officer at Meridian Credit Union, who is this year’s Honourary Coffee Break Chair. Mayor Walter Sendzik, Wade Stayzer, and Vic Kerschl (Alzheimer Society Niagara Foundation Chair) will open the event.

Enjoy lunch with mobile catering by Johnny Rocco’s Pizza Truck (starting at $8 with partial funds donated back to the Coffee Break Campaign), and Marble Slab Creamery will be offering bite sized samples of their ice cream.

This event is hosted by Alzheimer Society Niagara Foundation & Meridian Credit Union.

Fall Prevention Seminar @ Ontario Paper Thorold Seniors Centre
Sep 20 @ 1:00 pm

The Thorold Senior Citizens Association and Thorold Age-Friendly Committee host a free Fall Prevention Seminar.

Presented by: Scott Stevens and Sarah Radcliffe, Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-Being

Everyone is welcome. You do not have to be a member of the Seniors Centre to attend.

This event is hosted by the Thorold Senior Citizens Association and the Thorold Age-Friendly Committee.

Sep
23
Sun
Charity BBQ in Support of Women’s Place of South Niagara & The Niagara Falls Humane Society @ Dobbie's Florist
Sep 23 @ 11:30 am – 3:30 pm

Dobbie’s Florist is Celebrating it’s 130th Anniversary Sept 23/2018 11:30 AM to 3:30 PM with a charity BBQ, supporting Woman’s Place South Niagara & The Niagara Falls Humane Society.

There will be a Raffle, 50/50 Draw, a fundraising BBQ and a Free Roof Top Concert, Featuring Patsy & The Muscle & The Feverish Lemons, all proceeds go to these two charities. Caricature Artist Michael McDonnell will be available.

This event is hosted by Dobbie’s Florist.

Sep
24
Mon
Centre de santé communautaire Hamilton-Niagara Annual General Meeting @ Centre de santé communautaire - Community Hall
Sep 24 @ 6:00 pm

The Centre de santé communautaire Hamilton-Niagara cordially invites you to their Annual General Meeting.

This meeting will be held on Monday, September 24th at 6:00pm at 810 East Main Street, Welland.

Sep
26
Wed
Caregiver Wellness Workshop: Opening a Conversation in Response to Stress @ Alzheimer Society of Niagara Region - Pfizer Room
Sep 26 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Care partners are invited to this Caregiver Wellness Workshop focused on Opening a Conversation in Response to Stress.

Guest Speaker: Dion McParland, MSW, RSW, Family Support Counsellor, Alzheimer Society of Niagara Region and Member of Niagara Elder Abuse Prevention Network

Please register online or call the Alzheimer Society of Niagara Region at 905-687-3914.

This workshop is hosted by the Alzheimer Society of Niagara Region.

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