Over One Million Canadians Hold Multiple Jobs as Rising Costs of Living Make it Difficult to Meet Essential Needs

Canada’s employment levels remain robust despite Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem’s stringent mandate to cool the labour market and bring inflation back to the 2% target. In August, the unemployment rate stood relatively unchanged at 5.5% suggesting that the economy is still resilient even in the face of slowing economic growth and persistent inflation.

But beneath the surface, a concerning trend has been gaining traction: multiple jobholding. The number of individuals juggling more than one job stood at about 5.4% of the employed, or approximately one million people in August. The individuals are taking on the additional roles is often a clear sign of their primary job’s inability to cater to their financial needs, exacerbated by a rising cost of living. This becomes clearer when considering that employees earning below $800 weekly are more inclined to have multiple jobs.

In a special survey conducted by Statistics Canada, it was revealed that almost 35% of those with multiple jobs were doing so primarily to meet essential needs such as mortgage or rent payments or groceries. Contrast this with pre-pandemic figures, where only about 21% worked additional jobs out of sheer necessity, and it paints a concerning picture of the economic landscape.

Furthermore, a disparity emerges when comparing immigrant workers to native Canadians. Over half of those who had migrated to Canada in the last decade and held multiple jobs reported they did so primarily to meet essential needs, a stark contrast to the 29.8% figure of native Canadians. This trend is even more pronounced among racialized Canadians, particularly among Arab, Latin American, and Filipino workers.

Information for this story was found via Statistics Canada. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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