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Lived experiences of unemployed women in Toronto and Halifax, Canada who were previously precariously employed

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Nichols, Leslie
Publication Date: 
1 Jan 2016



Over the past few years, there has been an increase in the number of workers in Canada who are not in standard employment relations but are instead in contract, part-time, or otherwise precarious employment. At the same time, the neoliberal policy paradigm has replaced the belief that we should support workers through full-time stable employment with an idea that labour can be utilized whenever and however required, as dictated by the economy’s needs. The detrimental  effects of neoliberal market policies are well known. Further exploration is needed on the differential impacts of these policies on women with intersectional identities, particularly in an era of increasing employment precarity. Based on a qualitative study of unemployed women’s lived experiences in Toronto and Halifax, this article explores the issues surrounding unemployment, including financial impacts, job searching, retraining, and health impacts of unemployment and employment precarity. The results were analyzed using intersectional and grounded theory. The study concludes with key results related to the impact of precarity in the labour market: Neoliberal erosion of the welfare state is manifested in a lack of supports for workers.