Friday, Jul 23 2021
Precarious Employment

Precarious Employment

Precarious Employment is defined by The Precarity Penalty (2015) as "States of employment that do not have the security or benefits enjoyed in more traditional employment relationships." Research indicated that young adults are 4.8 times more likely to experience precarious employment than other workers. The precarity index measure the following themes of employment:

  • not paid for sick days
  • not in standard employment
  • weekly income not stable
  • hours worked not stable
  • work on-call
  • no set work schedule in advance
  • paid in cash
  • temporary employment
  • no benefits
  • weak voice at work

The London Poverty Research Centre @ King's hosted a community conversation about the lived experience of people in precarious employment. What came out was that the problem is more wide spread than you might imagine and it's damaging people socially, physically, and economically. People are focusing in on the issues of inequality, neoliberalism, and exploitative business models that need to be addressed.

Precarious Employment Factsheet:

  • Only about half of working Londoners have secure or stable employment
  • London's employment rate is lower than both the provincial and national average
  • Precariously employed individuals are more likely to experience depression, anger, and dissatisfaction with their jobs
  • Individuals who report high levels of job satisfaction also report higher levels of physical and mental health
  • Youth are significantly more likely to be precariously employed

LPRC Infographs



LPRC @ King's Discussion Papers

Setting the Scene: Precarious Employment in London 
October 2017

Researchers: Joseph Michalski and Don Kerr

Presentation that includes a definition of precarious employment and the London CMA study. This presentation also shows the impacts of employment precarity by gender, finances, family quality of life and health. Setting the Scene

An Overview of Recent Demographic and Economic Trends Impacting Low Income and Social Assistance Use in London and Neighbouring CMAs in Southwestern Ontario
February 2017

Researchers: Don Kerr, Tracy Smith-Carrier, Joseph Michalski and Juyan Wang

This report portrays low income, demographic, and socioeconomic trends for the Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) of London, Ontario. Using data available from various datasets provided by Statistics Canada, we seek to provide an overview of how recent demographic and economic trends have impacted the quality of life of Londoners, with a particular emphasis upon its low income residents. Demographic and Economic Trends

Is London Experiencing a "Lost Decade" for Meaningful Employment? 
January 2016

Principal Investigator: Dr. Don Kerr

Placing recent employment data into context: Looking at employment data from a longer term regional and demographic context.Statistics and Data: London's Lost Decade

Non-standard work and precarious employment in London Ontario 
Work in progress

Principal Investigator: Dr. Don Kerr

The London Region has faced some rather challenging economic condition since the turn of the century. Impacted by broader changes in the Canadian and North American economy, local labour-market conditions appear to be in a state of transition.  The issue of "job precarity" has been shaped by recent trends in terms of the supply and demand for labour. Link to research

LPRC @ King's Event/Conference Overview

The London Poverty Research Centre @ King's hosted a community conversation about the lived experience of people in precarious employment.
The Spectrum of Precarious Employment
November 2017

The London Poverty Research Centre held a conference on the topic of The Future of Work: Poverty Reduction in London. 
The Future of Work: Poverty Reduction in London
October 2015


Solutions to Precarious Employment

Basic Income Guarantee 

A basic income is a payment to eligible couples or individuals or individuals that ensures a minimum income level, regardless of employment status.

Basic Income London
Basic Income Canada Network
Ontario Basic Income Pilot


Cooperatives contribute to the sustainability and growth of the economy, reduces precarious work and can bring communities out of poverty.

Blueprint for Increasing Worker Ownership in Low-Income Communities
Ontario Cooperative Association
Evergreen Cooperatives

Social Procurement

Social Procurement is a method of purchasing goods and services from cooperatives and social enterprises, in an effort for government, organizations, private sector and nonprofits to use their existing purchasing power into an added value outcome. Imagine Canada says "With the intentional use of existing purchasing we are able to address issues such as poverty, housing, targeted employment and social isolation. The direct result of social procurement initiatives means many more people who experience barriers to employment  are getting work."

Organizations Working Towards Change

Atkinson Foundation
Better Way Alliance 
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)
Mowat Centre
Poverty and Employment Precarity in Southern Ontario (PEPSO)