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The working poor in the Toronto Region: Who they are, where they live, and how trends are changing

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Author: 
Stapleton, John; Murphy, Brian & Xing, Yue
Publication Date: 
12 Feb 2012
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Excerpts from the media release:

The number of working poor in the Toronto Region increased by 42% between 2000 and 2005, according to a new study from the Metcalf Foundation. This group accounted for more than 70,000 adults in the city of Toronto and more then 113,000 in the region overall. Toronto's working poor live in a region with the highest cost of living in Canada, and the second most expensive housing market in the country.

While past reports have looked at working poverty on a national level, this report, The "Working Poor" in the Toronto Region: Who they are, where they live, and how trends are changing, is the first to look at working poverty in the Toronto Region.

"Across the Toronto Region, many people are working in jobs where they remain poor. The people serving you at a food counter are often struggling to put food on their own table," said the report's co-author, John Stapleton.

According to the reports key findings, the working poor:

  • are more likely to be immigrants (73%)
  • work a comparable number of weeks per year to the rest of the working-age population;
    hold jobs mainly in sales and service occupations (close to one-third compared to one-fifth of the overall working population)
  • are more likely to live without an adult partner (63%) than the rest of the working-age population (78%)
  • are only slightly less educated than the rest of the working-age population, 52% have some higher education, versus 57% of the working-age population
  • are less likely to own their homes (44%) as compared to the working-age population (74%)
  • are younger than the working-age population as a whole, 63% of working-poor individuals are between the ages of 18 and 44, compared to 50% of the working-age population.

 

report
Entered Date: 
14 Feb 2012
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