Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Duration of Non-standard Employment

Kapsalis, Constantine and Tourigny, Pierre (2004): Duration of Non-standard Employment. Published in: Perspectives on Labour and Income , Vol. 5, No. 12 (December 2004)


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Non-standard employment is fairly common in Canada, accounting for almost two in five workers aged 16 to 69. Concerns about nonstandard work arise because workers in these jobs tend to have low earnings and are more likely to live in low-income families. They also face greater risk of unemployment and enjoy fewer employer- or government-sponsored benefits.

Adding fuel to these concerns is the persistence of nonstandard employment among the people who hold these jobs. For example, of the five million Canadians in non-standard jobs in 1999; half remained in such jobs throughout the following two years. Older workers (45 to 69) were particularly susceptible.

The potentially negative aspects of non-standard work are mitigated by many individuals choosing selfemployment, or temporary or part-time jobs. Moreover, non-standard work often serves as a gateway to standard employment. For example, some 60% of individuals without jobs in 1999 who were subsequently employed in 2000 or 2001 initially found nonstandard work. And the temporary nature of non-standard work among youth indicates that for this group non-standard work is typically a stepping stone to permanent full-time employment.

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