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Decline in manufacturing has hurt employment for men: Statistics Canada

Wages also shrinking for men - particularly less educated workers, says agency


January 15, 2020
By The Canadian Press

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Photo: Getty Images

A Statistics Canada report reveals that the fallout from the country’s shrinking manufacturing sector is affecting employment and wage rates of men and women differently.

In a report looking at the impact of the decline in manufacturing, the agency says the percentage of Canadian men aged 21 to 55 who were employed mainly full time for at least 48 weeks fell by five percentage points, from 63.6 per cent in 2000 to 58.6 per cent in 2015.

Statistics Canada said the drop in full-time employment rates was generally more pronounced in regions that saw larger-than-average declines in the relative importance of the manufacturing sector.

It noted that men’s full-year, full-time employment rates fell by 10 percentage points or more in the Ontario areas of Windsor, Oshawa, St. Catharines-Niagara and Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo.

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The decline in manufacturing jobs has also meant lower real wages for men, especially less educated men.

The study said, from 2000 to 2015, a five-percentage-point drop in the share of the population employed in manufacturing in a given region led to, on average, at least a 6.9 per cent drop in the real weekly wages of male employees in the affected areas.

However, men with a high school diploma or less saw a drop of at least 7.3 per cent, compared with a decline of at least 4.8 per cent for their counterparts with a bachelor’s degree or higher.

The report found little evidence that the decline in manufacturing has meant a drop in full-year, full-time employment rates for women. Statistics Canada said the factors behind the gender difference remain to be determined.

The report also found little evidence that the manufacturing decline reduced real wages for women.