Centraide of Greater Montreal and the INRS announce the results of a study on working poverty in the Montreal region - 4 in 10 people living in poverty work

MONTREAL, Oct. 17, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - On the occasion of International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, Centraide of Greater Montreal and the INRS (Institut national de la recherche scientifique) today released the results of a joint study on the working poor in the Montreal region.

This study reveals that employment no longer provides an adequate income for a growing number of workers. Despite having a job, they remain poor. In the Montreal region, out of every ten low-income individuals aged 18-64, four are employed. Some 125,000 people are confronted with this reality.


  • Between 2001 and 2012, the number of working poor individuals in Greater Montreal grew by about 30%.
  • This phenomenon is particularly marked on the Island of Montreal. The highest rates of working poor are found in the following Montreal neighbourhoods: Park Extension (30.7%), Peter McGill (19.7%), Côte-des-Neiges (18.9%), Little Burgundy (18.5%), Pointe-Saint-Charles (18.2%), Saint-Michel (17.6%) and Saint-Henri (17.5%).
  • More than half of working poor individuals have children (55%).
  • Who are the working poor?
    • 38% of single parents under age 30, the majority of whom are women, belong to the working poor.
    • 27% of recent immigrants belong to the working poor; they are 5 times more at risk of working poverty than non-immigrants (6%).


"Working poverty accentuates inequalities and represents an additional challenge for the agencies in our network," explains Lili-Anna Pereša, President and Executive Director of Centraide of Greater Montreal.  "These inequalities create a gap between the life circumstances of the most affluent and most disadvantaged that continues to grow throughout their lives. In Montreal, there is an 11-year discrepancy in life expectancy between some rich and poor neighbourhoods. That is why it is so important to intervene as early as possible with children and their families in order to break the cycle of poverty."

"Urban inequalities are increasing in many large Canadian cities," adds Xavier Leloup, a researcher at INRS. "In Montreal, family status, and especially lone-motherhood, seems to be the most crucial variable in explaining the phenomenon of the working poor. As well, immigrants are more affected by this situation, regardless of their level of education. It is essential to take the reality of the working poor into account in our public policies and community-based interventions, because of their growing numbers."

About Centraide of Greater Montreal

Centraide of Greater Montreal is an independent organization managed by a board of directors that is representative of the community. It serves Laval, Montreal and the South Shore. About 57,000 volunteers are involved in the some 350 agencies it supports, and another 22,000 work on its annual campaign. It is supported by about 1,200 private and public corporations and organizations as well as by large trade unions.

There are 18 Centraides in Quebec supporting 1,500 community agencies and projects that offer help and comfort to 1.3 million vulnerable people.

About the INRS

The INRS (Institut national de la recherche scientifique) is a graduate and post-graduate research university with four centres located in different Quebec cities. The INRS plays a key role in advancing scientific knowledge and training highly qualified students in sectors of great strategic importance to society, both in Quebec and in the rest of the world.

Summary of the study on the working poor
Study on the working poor in the Montreal CMA (in french only)
Infographic on the working poor
Brief presented by Centraide of Greater Montreal to the public consultation on the government's third action plan to combat poverty and social exclusion in Quebec (in french only)


twitter.com/centraidemtl Hashtag: #OnCentraide  


SOURCE Centraide of Greater Montreal

For further information: Annick Gagnon, Public Relations Coordinator, Centraide of Greater Montreal, 514 288-1261, Ext. 242, gagnona@centraide-mtl.org


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