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'Precarious' employment on the rise in Toronto, Hamilton: study

A new study suggests more and more workers are becoming trapped in jobs that aren’t stable or secure.

The McMaster University-United Way Toronto study, which focused on workers in the Toronto and Hamilton areas, says a growing number are making do without stable paycheques or benefits like extended health and pension plans.

The study found these workers, termed “precarious labourers”, are on their way to becoming the new normal in many sectors of the workforce, with only 60 per cent of GTA workers saying they have stable, secure jobs.

Precarious employment has increased nearly 50 per cent in the last 20 years.

The study found that these workers face stressful issues such as fluctuating weekly incomes and work schedules that change with little notice.

Precarious workers earn 46 per cent less and report household incomes that are 34 per cent lower than secure workers.

Those working in the knowledge, service and manufacturing sectors were equally likely to be in the precarious cluster.

When it came to the division of the sexes, the survey found that both men and women were equally likely to be in the secure or precarious cluster, according to the report.

An expert panel will discuss the findings tomorrow at a symposium in Toronto.

Click here to view the full report.