Employment and labour

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Illustration by Katie Raso
Based on a national survey of professionals about precarious working conditions, the first of its kind, No Safe Harbour: Precarious Work and Economic Insecurity Among Skilled Professionals in Canada shows professionals across the country are not immune to the hallmarks of precarious work: no steady income, no pension, no benefits, no sick pay.
TORONTO – Despite their high level of education, credentials, skills, and even experience, 22 per cent of Canadian professionals are in precarious jobs, says a new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ Ontario (CCPA-Ontario) office.
In this paper we estimate the impact of an extension of maximum EI sickness benefits beyond 15 weeks using Statistics Canada’s Social Policy Simulation Database and Model (SPSD/M). The model allows us to estimate how many people might use the additional benefit each year and what the net annual cost would be if the maximum sick leave were extended. The paper opens with a brief history of EI sick leave and a snapshot of annual usage patterns and costs. Results of the modelling exercise are then presented with a discussion of potential implications.
Dans le présent document, l’incidence qu’aurait une prolongation des prestations maximales de maladie de l’AE au-delà de 15 semaines est estimée à l’aide de l’outil Base de données et Modèle de simulation de politiques sociales (BD/MSPS) de Statistique Canada3. Le modèle nous permet d’estimer le nombre de personnes qui pourraient avoir recours aux prestations supplémentaires chaque année et le coût annuel net si le maximum des congés de maladie était prolongé. 
It’s becoming difficult to keep up with the alarming developments unfolding in the US.
March for a $15/hr minimum wage at the University of Minnesota, April 2015 (Photo by Fibonacci Blue ,Flickr Creative Commons).
  According to a popular apocryphal tale, the United States and Soviet Union both realized during the space race that a standard pen would not work in orbit. NASA spent millions of dollars to develop an “anti-gravity” pen that would. The Soviets used a pencil.