In collaboration with United Way, Brock faculty members Jeff Boggs (Geography and Tourism Studies) and Jonah Butovsky (Sociology) worked closely with Rachel Hirsch (previous Project Facilitator, Social Justice Research Institute; current Research Officer, Office of Research Services) to develop a research project that explored the impacts of precarious employment in Niagara. The team applied to, and was awarded, a $74,700 seed grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. In this project, precarious employment referred to full or part-time workers employed on a casual or permanent basis who may receive no benefits, receive low wages, or face job insecurity. Research using this same definition “was conducted by United Way Toronto & York Region and McMaster University several years ago,” explained United Way of Niagara Falls and Greater Fort Erie executive director Carol Stewart-Kirkby. “We are excited to [now] extend this research into Niagara so that we… clearly demonstrate the status of precarious work here, how it impacts our community and find solutions,” she added. Data collection involved telephone surveys with 713 respondents between the ages of 25 and 65 years old, as well as discussions with community stakeholders such as job services and business owners, and an online survey of 71 people who are precariously employed. Findings from this project provide the most up-to-date and relevant information about the characteristics of the precariously employed in Niagara and the impact of precarity on community, household, family, and children’s well-being in the Niagara Region. They also inform six recommendations put forth by the research team as ways to assist with addressing this social problem in Niagara and beyond.
For more information about this project, please visit the PEPiN website and refer to the final report, Uncertain Jobs, Certain Impacts: Employment Precarity in Niagara
Click here to access a webinar that builds on the 2018 PEPiN Report, with a focus on its policy implications and recommendations.
Click the images above to learn more about Dr. Boggs, Dr. Butovsksy, and Dr. Hirsch