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Number of Canadians working in temporary jobs jumps

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Canada’s temporary workforce is growing at a faster pace than permanent employment, according to Statistics Canada.

Data collected in 2018 showed that 2.1 million Canadians worked in temporary jobs, representing 13.3 per cent of the country’s workforce. In 1998, 1.4 million Canadians worked in temporary jobs.

The 50 per cent growth in temporary jobs during the period easily outpaces the 33 per cent increase in permanent jobs during the same period.

Statistics Canada says growth in term of contract jobs explains the increase. Term or contract employees made up 46 per cent of all temporary employees in 1998, compared to 53 per cent in 2018.

Temporary employees typically make less money. On average, they made $21.80 an hour in 2018. Meanwhile, permanent employees made $27.71 an hour.

Take home pay for temporary workers gets even smaller because they work fewer hours than permanent employees: 27.8 vs. 33.3.

About 4 out of 10 temporary employees work part-time, compared with 14 per cent of permanent employees.

Men and women are almost equally represented among the temporary workforce, but women (85 per cent) were more likely to have a casual, or term or contract job. Men are more likely to have a seasonal job (27 per cent) compared to women (14 per cent).

Most temporary employees in the healthcare and social assistance industries are women (82 per cent), as well as in educational services (68 per cent). Both industries employ a large share of temporary workers, with 26 per cent for educational services and 13 per cent for healthcare and social assistance.

Temporary employment is higher in the Atlantic provinces, where seasonal work is more common. Newfoundland and Labrador took the top spot at 26 per cent, followed by Prince Edward Island at 21 per cent. They also happened to have the highest unemployment rates, at 13.8 per cent and 9.4 per cent respectively.

Temporary employment was lowest in Manitoba (12 per cent), Saskatchewan (13 per cent) and Ontario (13 per cent). These provinces also have lower unemployment rates than the rest of the country.

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Jessy Bains is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitte@jessysbains

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