Re-employed laid-off workers take earnings hit: StatsCan

Majority saw a 20-per-cent decrease in hourly wages and 1 in 5 lost pension coverage

When laid-off workers find new jobs, they're more likely to earn less money than they did in their previous job, according to Statistics Canada.

People who were laid off between 2002 and 2006 and who subsequently found work were nearly 60 per cent more likely to see a decrease in their hourly wages, found Layoffs in Canada.

This proportion was similar for people who were laid off between 1993 and 1997.

When there was a loss in hourly wages, it amounted to more than 20 per cent in the majority of cases. This held true for both observation periods. Despite these losses, few workers fell into low income after being laid off.

Layoffs also affected pension plan coverage. While 57 per cent of laid-off workers were not covered by a pension plan in either the lost or new job, approximately 20 per cent lost their coverage by changing jobs.

Furthermore, the new jobs were just as likely to be unionized as the old ones. This was true for both observation periods.

The probability of finding a new job one year after being laid off was higher from 2002 to 2006 (81 per cent) than from 1993 to 1997 (73 per cent). This reflects the more favourable economic conditions in the 2000s, which lasted until the fourth quarter of 2008 and the beginning of the most recent economic slowdown.

The greater likelihood to be employed one year after layoff was most pronounced for women and less-educated workers.

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