Class Notes (835,338)
Canada (509,112)
Sociology (3,252)
SOC101Y1 (985)
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SOCB54 Chapter 3 Introduction  Labour market – the arena in which employers seek to purchase labour from potential employees who themselves are seeking jobs suitable to their education, experience, and preferences  In the labour market, workers exchange their skills, knowledge, and loyalty in return for pay status, career opportunities, and other job rewards  Government legislation affects how labour markets operate—minimum wage laws and legislation governing the activities of trade unions are examples o Government agencies may also assist the unemployed w/ financial support or job-training programs  According to the human capital theory, jobs requiring more effort, training and skill typically receive greater rewards o This theory assumes that labour market participants compete openly for the best jobs, and that the most qualified people end up in the jobs requiring their particular skills  The study of labour market isn’t only about who gets better or worse jobs; it also addresses broader questions about social stratification and class structure Good Jobs and Bad Jobs  Individuals compare the rewards a job provides against their own needs, preferences, and ambitions and against the personal costs of working in such a job  Since most workers are concerned about maintaining or improving their standard of living and quality of life, material or extrinsic job rewards are very important o How much does it pay? What kind of benefits come with the job? Is it dangerous? Is it full-time and permanent?  Occupational status isn’t as subjectively (individually) determined as are the more intrinsic job rewards o The chance to be creative, to work independently, to develop friendships in a job, and so on Income Differences  Income in the service industries are typically lower than in the goods-producing industries o For example: in 2008, annual average weekly earnings were $1528 in mining and oil and gas extraction, $1015 in construction, and $950 in manufacturing o Average weekly earnings were only $540 in arts, entertainment, and recreation, $475 in retail trade, and $331 in accommodation and food services o There is more variation in employees’ incomes w/in the service sector than w/in the goods-producing sector  2006 data on individuals working full-time year-round earned an average wage of: o Dentist - $142,100 o Medical specialists - $201,847 SOCB54 o Judges - $192,448 o Lawyers - $142, 345 o Cashiers - $20,140 o Hotel clerks - $23,790 o Hair stylists and barbers - $19,746 o Pet groomers and other animal-care workers - $20,898  Workers w/ specific professional skills (teachers, doctors, engineers) and more formal education are generally paid much more than those w/ less training  Some of the industrial and occupational differences in earnings are due to supple and demand factors in a labour market that rewards educational investments  These occupational earning patterns hide large gender differences o 2006 census among Canadians working full-time and full-yea, women’s median earnings were 76% of men’s in 2005  While the gender wage gap hasn’t declined significantly in the past few years, over the longer term (past few decades) it has been decreasing as women’s earnings have been rising slowly while the earnings of men, on average, have stalled o Part of the reason for the long-term trend in rising female incomes is that more women have invested in higher education and, as a result, have gained access to better-paying jobs  Income distribution o At the top of the earnings hierarchy: CEOs o In 2006, the CEOs of the top 100 companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange received a median compensation package of $11.7 million o Some of the highest paid CEOs were those who left their jobs when their company was doing poorly  E.g. former Loblaws CEO received a $12 million payout for leaving before his contract ended, on top of his $10 million in normal compensation  E.g. former CEO of Home Depot in the US received a $210 million severance package, on top of the $225 million he had he earned over the previous 6 years o At the other end of the wealth scale are numerous workers w/ very low incomes  In 2010, if a worker earning a minimum wage worked 40 hours a week for the whole year, they would earn:  $16,120 in New Brunswick (lowest minimum wage)  $16,640 in BC  $17,472 in Alberta  $17,680 in Quebec  $19,760 in Ontario (highest minimum wage) o Many of these lowest-paid workers are students working in the lower-tier services (retail and consumer services)  If this was the only income, the household, especially if it contained children, would likely be living well below the official low-income cutoff, more commonly called the poverty line Other Employment Benefits SOCB54  Employment benefit - a form of indirect pay and increased income security  Canadian employers are legally required to contribute to Employment Insurance (EI), the Canada Pension Plan, and Workers’ Compensation  50% - 60% of Canadian private-sector employees had and employer-sponsored pension plan or group registered retirement savings plan, supplementary health insurance, a dental plan, and a life insurance/disability plan o But one in four received none of these five non-wage benefits Risks to Personal Health and Safety  Between 1993 and 2005, a total of 11,124 Canadian workers died as a result of their job  Chances of being killed on the job are greater than those being killed on the road by a drunk driver  Industrial fatality rates are generally much lower in the service industries than in the goods-producing sector  Most dangerous are those involving cutting, handling, and loading of materials in the mining industry, and working w/ insulation in the construction industry  Time-loss work industry rates for men are almost twice as high as for women  Injury rates are highest in the age 20 to 24 category, but decline steadily with age  1 in 3 Canadian workers aged 15 and older indicated that their job was stressful b/c of too many demands or too many hours of work  1 in 8 experience excess worry or stress b/c of risks of accident or injury, concerns about job loss or layoff, and poor interpersonal relationships in the workplace  Higher job strain is associated w/ more frequent self-reports of poor physical and mental health, and with more frequent self-reports of reduced work activity and work absences due to health problems  Work-related stress, injuries, illnesses, and fatalities constitute an extremely serious social problem  Workplace health and safety problems constitute a huge cost for employers  Industrial and occupational differences in injuries and fatalities demonstrate that the risks of injury, illness, and death are an additional important dimension of overall job quality Occupational Status  On average, individuals in higher-status occupations have higher incomes o Higher-status jobs do require more education, cognitive ability, and skill o Higher incomes may also reflect the ability of a powerful occupational group to limit entry into its field or to raise the prices for the services it provides  Some occupations have traditionally had higher social status b/c they were viewed as men’s work rather than women’s work  Jobs defined as “better” in terms of extrinsic rewards (e.g., pay, benefits, worker safety) typically also have higher status in society  Goyder and Frank (2007) - occupational prestige scale ranging from a low value of 0 and a high value of 100 for prestige scores o Unskilled labourers in primary industries, unskilled sales and service occupations – 52 SOCB54 o Clerical occupations – 57 o Skilled occupations in primary industries – 67 o Professional occupations in business and finance – 72 o Professional occupations in health – 81  Boyd (2008) created a socioeconomic status (SES) scale, ranging from a possible low of 0 to a possible high 100 o Examples of SES scores, at the detailed occupational level, range from: o Nannies – 9 o Hairstylists – 29 o Receptionist – 38 o Radio announcers – 53 o Dental hygienists – 75 o Psychologists – 92 o Doctors – 100  Both scales help us to compare “good jobs” and “bad jobs” and the many in b/w Canada’s Class Structure  Social class – refers to at one level, to a particular position w/in a stratified social structure and, on another level, to the power relationships among groups directly engaged in the production process Marx on Social Class  Focused primarily on the relationship b/w the class of the class of capitalists, who own the means of production, and the proletariat o Proletariat owned no production-related property, and so had little choice but to exchange labour in return for a wage  Also discussed the middle class of small business owners (petite bourgeoisie) and predicted that, in time, it would largely disappear; small businesses would be swallowed up by bigger competitors, and self-employment in agriculture would gradually be replaced by wage labour  Expansion of the service industries, and a growing number of skilled (and well-paid) workers in white-collar occupations, force us to rethink Marx’s model of social class relationships Postindustrial Class Structure of Canadian Society  Erik Olin Wright took into account ownership, the employment of others, the supervision of others, and the control over one’s own work o He distinguished b/w large and small employers, two groups that have legal ownership and also employ others, and the petite bourgeoisie, who own their businesses (or farms) but don’t have others working for them o The larger class of paid employees was separated into managers, who, while not owning the enterprise, would be involved in decision making, along with the legal owners; supervisors, who aren’t involved in planning and decision making SOCB54 but who nevertheless exercise authority over others; and works who have no ownership rights, decision-making power, or authority over other o One final class grouping, semi-autonomous workers (for instance, social workers, university professors, and other salaried professionals), are identified by the relatively greater control they retain over their own work The Human Capital Model of Labour Market Processes  Human capital theory assumes that a job’s rewards are determined by its economic contribution to society o It also predicts that more dangerous and unhealthy jobs should be paid more, since workers would have to be compensated for these greater risks o Assumes that labour market participants are all competing for Jobs in a single, open labour market o Emphasizes the supply side of labour markets, and largely overlooks the behaviour and character of employers and work organizations (the demand side) o Ignores the questions about class structure and unequal power relationships w/in the labour market o Its perspective on labour markets is premised on a consensus view of society, in contract to the assumptions of conflict underlying class-based and labour market segmentation approaches Social Structure and Occupational Choice  The human capital model attempts to explain how people are sorted into different occupational positions by focusing on the characteristics of individual workers  People whose skills and abilities are more valued by society, and who have invested more in education and training, will be leading candidates for the better jobs, according to the model  Another assumption it makes is that individuals choose among work options, eventually settling in the occupational niche that best suits them o But to what extent do individuals actually have a choice from among the wide range of occupations? o Theory doesn’t ask why individuals had such high occupational goals  For many working Canadians, family circumstances, social class background, and community of origin, along w/ personal attributes such as gender, race, and ethnicity, are important determinants of educational land occupational choices and outcomes Equality of Educational Opportunit
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