Income disparities arising from unequal access to labour markets have an adverse effect on a wide range of social indicators of well-being, including a person’s health status, housing status, educational attainment, and political participation.
Equal access to employment and the availability of good jobs and good workplace conditions are essential to ending poverty and securing the full citizenship of all workers. Studies show that the shares of employees at minimum wage increased among groups based on age, gender, disability, race and immigrant status over the period 2003-2011. While racialized and immigrant employees were as likely to be working at minimum wage as the total population over the period 2003-2005, this changed after that period, and the data show higher levels of minimum wage jobs and an increasing gap between racialized and immigrant employees, and Canadian-born and non-racialized workers when it comes to minimum wage jobs going into and beyond the Great Recession. There was a sharper increase in racialized and immigrant workers at minimum wage than the total population. Women, racialized groups, Aboriginal people and persons with disabilities experience higher levels of low income or poverty than able-bodied, white men. In 2006, Aboriginal people on reserve earned 53% of the annual incomes of other Canadians.
Check out: The Income gap for Aboriginal People and the rest of Canadians, by Dan Wilson
Check out: Who is working for Minimum Wage in Ontario, by Sheila Block