New Metcalf Foundation Report: Full-time job earnings often not enough to escape poverty.
Spokespeople available, Report now on-line
TORONTO, Feb. 11, 2012 /CNW/ - The number of working poor in the Toronto region increased by 42% between 2000 and 2005, according to a new report by the Metcalf Foundation. This group accounted for more than 113,000 adults in the Region, and 70,700 in the city of Toronto. 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.
The report notes that:
- 73% of the Region's working poor, almost 3 in 4, are immigrants.
- Working poverty is a fast-growing regional phenomenon with the greatest increases in communities like Mississauga, Richmond Hill, and Markham.
- Working poverty is moving eastward within the city of Toronto.
"Employment is commonly understood to be the best antidote to poverty. Yet the growing numbers of people working and poor in the Toronto Region paints a troubling picture, " said Sandy Houston, President and CEO of the Metcalf Foundation.
According to the report's key findings, the working poor:
- 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%); and
- are younger than the working-age population as a whole, 63% of working-poor individuals are between the ages of 18 and 44 as compared to 50% of the working-age population.
"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.
Available for comment:
- John Stapleton, Social Policy Analyst, co-author
- Brian Murphy, Special Advisor Income Statistics Division, Statistics Canada, co-author
- Sandy Houston, Metcalf Foundation President and CEO
To download the media release and the report: http://metcalffoundation.com/
The goal of the George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation is to enhance the effectiveness of people and organizations working together to help Canadians imagine and build a just, healthy, and creative society.
For further information:
Media Contact: Claire M. Tallarico 416 616 9940 (mobile)