POVERTY in the Western World: The ‘Working Poor’, a Toronto Report


The Metcalf Foundation is pleased to release a new report entitled, The “Working Poor” in the Toronto Region: Who they are, where they live, and how trends are changing.

According to the report, the number of working poor in the Toronto Region increased by 42% between 2000 and 2005. This group accounted for more than 113,000 adults in the Region overall, 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 is the first to look at working poverty in the Toronto Region.

The report notes, amongst other findings that:

* 73% of the Region’s working poor, almost 3 in 4, are immigrant;
* 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; and
* the working poor work a comparable number of weeks per year to the rest of the working-age population.

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. The Foundation hopes this research will contribute to advancing a labour market in the Toronto Region where all working people can find decent jobs in order to create a healthier, more equitable, Region.

John Stapleton, Brian Murphy and Yue Xing wrote The “Working Poor” in the Toronto Region. John Stapleton is a Toronto-based social policy analyst and Metcalf Foundation Fellow. Brian Murphy is a Special Advisor with the Income Statistics Division at Statistics Canada. Yue Xing is an analyst with the Income Statistics Division at Statistics Canada.

To obtain a copy of both the report please go to http://metcalffoundation.com/.

Please circulate widely through your networks.

Warm regards,
Sandy Houston

Colette Murphy President & CEO
Inclusive Local Economies Program Director


Metcalf Foundation

174 Avenue Road, Toronto, Ontario, M5R 2J1

Tel: (416) 926-0366 Fax: (416) 926-0370



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