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Ontario Works Caseloads

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Data source – Peel Social Services

  • In the first (January – March) quarter of 2018, the number of Ontario Works (OW) caseloads recorded in Peel was 57,386 cases, up 3.4 per cent.
  • This was the strongest quarterly increase in OW caseloads in seven quarters.
  • When viewed in terms of monthly average caseloads, Peel’s OW caseloads increased from 18,492 cases in January – March 2017 to exceed 19,000 cases at 19,129 cases in January – March 2018.
  • The change in Peel’s quarterly average OW caseloads moderated significantly over the past five years ranging between a low of -3.7 per cent in the third quarter of 2013 and a high of 7.7 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2015.
  • Therefore, the 3.4 per cent registered in the first quarter of 2018 was within recent growth range.
  • However, it was the strongest quarterly growth registered in the two years.
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Data source – Peel Social Services
  • Peel’s OW caseloads have trended upward for more than a decade.
  • Several factors may have contributed to the sustained increase in Peel’s OW caseloads including population growth.
  • In the first quarter of 2018, Peel’s population was 1.49 million persons, up 2.0 per cent from that recorded in the first quarter of 2017.
  • As the population grows, the number of persons seeking social assistance may increase, despite a stable or even falling proportion of total population requiring such support.
  • Changing labour market conditions in which the mix of jobs available to Peel residents have increasingly included more precarious type employment may also be an important factor in the rise in Peel’s OW caseloads.
  • Over the past decade, employment growth in Peel’s labour market has been driven by more “precarious” type employment such as temporary, part-time and self employment.