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Michal Rozworski: Trudeau’s economic model is clear and it is not good

Last week gave us a good idea of the economic model that Trudeau’s Liberals are gradually putting forward and it is business-friendly to the core. The infrastructure bank privatization scheme was the big news item in the fall fiscal upate (see my post from last week), but there are far more goodies to make . . . → Read More: Michal Rozworski: Trudeau’s economic model is clear and it is not good

The Progressive Economics Forum: Grocery Wars: Lessons from Canada’s Changing Retail Landscape

As Target Canada tumbled into bankruptcy, Loblaw announced that its fourth-quarter profits more than doubled. What can be learned from this tale of two retailers?

The main reason for Loblaw’s surge was its acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart last March, which turned it into Canada’s largest grocer and pharmacy chain. Shoppers contributed $3 billion to . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Grocery Wars: Lessons from Canada’s Changing Retail Landscape

The Progressive Economics Forum: Of Rising Tides and Sinking Boats

Recently, Minister Kenney took to twitter to defend his decision to limit the number of precarious workers entering Alberta through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Again, the minister is to be applauded for his grasp of the situation. His changes do little to fix the actual problem though.

The evidence that he cited was the . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Of Rising Tides and Sinking Boats

The Progressive Economics Forum: Should Welfare Recipients Try Harder to Find Work?

This morning the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation released a new report about “motivational interviewing” for welfare recipients. The link to the full report is here, and the link to the executive summary is here.

Authored by Reuben Ford, Jenn Dixon, Shek-wai Hui, Isaac Kwakye and Danielle Patry, the study reports on a recent randomized . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Should Welfare Recipients Try Harder to Find Work?

The Progressive Economics Forum: Is Canada becoming a ‘part-time’ nation – the value of LMI

Most of the jobs added to the Canadian labour market in 2014 were part-time – prompting headlines such as “Experts fret Canada becoming a nation of part-time workers“.

Are we really a part-time nation? Well, 80% of workers in Canada are full-time, and a large majority of part-time workers choose to work part-time hours. So, . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Is Canada becoming a ‘part-time’ nation – the value of LMI

The Progressive Economics Forum: More Evidence that Temporary Foreign Worker Program Takes Jobs Away from Canadians

Yet another report, this time by SFU Public Policy Professor Dominique M. Gross, finds evidence that Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program is bad for domestic workers. The report looks at BC and Alberta specifically and concludes that the expansion of the TFW program between 2007 and 2010 resulted in an increase in unemployment levels by . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: More Evidence that Temporary Foreign Worker Program Takes Jobs Away from Canadians

Political Eh-conomy: Precarious workers or satisfied customers: a fine line for giant retailers

This post is an appendix of sorts to my article, “Fired by Walmart for Christmas”, to be published this weekend by Common Dreams. In the article, I describe the stresses and difficulties faced by Walmart workers during the holidays. Overwork, a climate of fear and barely-organized chaos make for taxing shifts at work. Low wages, . . . → Read More: Political Eh-conomy: Precarious workers or satisfied customers: a fine line for giant retailers

The Progressive Economics Forum: Social Assistance in Canada

This week I am attending a conference entitled “Welfare Reform in Canada: Provincial Social Assistance in Comparative Perspective,” organized by Professor Daniel Béland.

The focus of the conference is “social assistance,” which typically encompasses both last-resort social assistance (i.e. ‘welfare’) and disability benefits. In Ontario, the former is known as Ontario Works and the latter . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Social Assistance in Canada

The Progressive Economics Forum: Temporary Foreign Workers

Armine and I have some comments in today’s Toronto Star article on Temporary Foreign Workers (page B1). Armine has been commenting extensively on this issue and my head talked for a few seconds on last night’s The National. Here is my online Globe and Mail op-ed:

Reining In The Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Reports of . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Temporary Foreign Workers

The Progressive Economics Forum: The Harper Government’s New Math

Every time this government crows about its job creation record, I cringe. They have moved the finish line and declared victory. No reason to worry about the unemployed here, folks. Let’s move on to more public service cuts, and/or tax cuts. Never mind that unemployment has been in and around 7.4% since the spring of […] . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: The Harper Government’s New Math

The Progressive Economics Forum: Fewer Unemployed Eligible for Benefits

The annual Employment Insurance Coverage Survey is out, here. The rate of eligibility for regular benefits from Employment Insurance is the lowest since 2003, the earliest year that there is comparable data.

To qualify, a person must have worked in the past 12 months and contributed to Employment Insurance, they must have left their job . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Fewer Unemployed Eligible for Benefits

The Progressive Economics Forum: While You Were Sleeping: Fed Policies Make It Easier to Hire a Cheaper You

A shorter version of this article appeared today in the Globe and Mail’s Economy Lab

Have you noticed how common it has become to talk about replacing workers with even cheaper workers? If you’re looking over your shoulder, you’re not paranoid; you’re paying attention. There’s probably a cheaper you out there. And in Canada, . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: While You Were Sleeping: Fed Policies Make It Easier to Hire a Cheaper You

The Progressive Economics Forum: Who’s a bigger drag on Canada’s future? The old or the young?

This is my latest column for Canadian Business magazine.

Giorgio, a hard-working, smart-as-a-whip University of Toronto student, asked me a great question after a recent guest lecture: What if the biggest challenge facing Canadian businesses and governments in the coming years isn’t an aging society but the economic and fiscal drag of hundreds of . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Who’s a bigger drag on Canada’s future? The old or the young?