Here’s How Much Unemployment is Costing Halton

Unemployment and underemployment aren't just hard on sufferers--a new report suggests they hurt entire regions.

In fact, it suggests that underemployment and unemployment rates are greatly impacting people in the Halton and Peel Regions (Mississauga, Brampton, Caledon, Oakville, Burlington, Milton and Halton Hills).

A report completed by the Peel-Halton Local Employment Planning Council showes that in 2016 the unemployment rate in Peel was 8.2 per cent (7.5 for males and 8.9 for females) which was higher than the provincial average of 7.4 per cent.

Overall, residents are expected to participate in the economic activity of their community, making employment a primary driver of both economic and social policy.

The report also points out that working isn’t always just about economic survival. For many people, it helps them build connections, making work important for both individuals and society.

As a result, unemployment is both an ongoing social and economic problem for economies, often impacting the lives of families, individuals, and communities.

Here's how the costs and impacts of unemployment and underemployment impact the Halton and Peel Regions, according to the report:

In 2016, the unemployment rate in Halton was 6 per cent (5.7 for males and 6.3 for females) which was lower than the provincial average of 7.4 per cent.

The report defines the costs of unemployment as public expenditures that are influenced by unemployment, and the potential loss of public revenue that results from unemployment.

Loss of revenue can be defined as lost social contributions, lost income tax revenue, or lost value-added tax revenue (i.e. HST).

The completed report assesses the costs of both the federal Employment Insurance Program and the provincial social assistance program.

Costs connected to financial benefits paid to improve the impact of unemployment include the federal Employment Insurance Program and the provincial social assistance program, made up of both Ontario Works (OW) and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).

The Canadian Employment Insurance Program issues regular benefits to eligible individuals that have become unemployed through no fault of their own and are able to still work.

In reference to 2016, the general number of monthly people receiving employment insurance regular benefits in Peel was 12,883 and 3,786 in Halton.

That means a total of 46,280 individuals in Peel and 15,485 individuals in Halton reported income from EI in 2016.

The average amount these people got in 2016 in Peel was $6,212.

The average amount these people got in 2016 in Halton was $5,643.

The difference in these numbers can be explained by the average number of weeks that an individual may be unemployed for.

The total EI income for all Halton recipients in 2016 was $87,381,000 (Halton Hills totalling $10,575,000, Milton totalling $20,754,000, Oakville totalling $27,439,000, and Burlington totalling $28,613,000).

The total Employment Insurance income for all Peel recipients in 2016 was $287, 477, 000 (Caledon totalling $14,896,000, Brampton totalling $128,581,000, and Mississauga totalling $144,000,000).

Ontario also offers social assistance payments.

According to the report, the Ontario social assistance program consists of two primary programs, Ontario Works (OW), and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). In order to receive OW income support, an individual must be a resident of Ontario, need money right away to help pay for basic needs (such as food and shelter), and be willing to take part in job search activities.

A total of 33,975 people in Peel in 2016 reported income from social assistance with a typical income of $8,728 resulting in a total expenditure payment of about $296,534,000 that year.

A total of 7,480 people in Halton in 2016 reported income from social assistance with a typical income of about $8,919 resulting in a total expenditure payment of about $66,715,000 that year.

The total actual cost of the Employment Ontario program in 2016 was $1,328,434,960. In 2016,
the total number of Employment Ontario clients was 589,614. Therefore, the cost per Employment Ontario client in Ontario in 2016 for the Employment Ontario program is $2,253.

In 2016, the total number of Employment Ontario Clients in Peel and Halton (combined) was 71,623. Therefore, the total cost of Employment Ontario programs in Peel and Halton may be an estimated$161,366,619.

The report highlights the following impacts of and reasonings for unemployment and underemployment rates:

  • Service access requirements may create barriers for job seekers
  • There are challenges for youth transitioning from education to employment
  • Underemployment is a significant concern among immigrant and young job seekers
  • Unemployment exacerbates existing issues affecting individuals and their families
  • Mid-career clients face additional barriers to employment
  • Sustained unemployment creates future employment obstacles

Visit the full report here.

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