Social Indicators Research

, Volume 88, Issue 1, pp 51–74 | Cite as

Transitions from Temporary to Permanent Work in Canada: Who Makes the Transition and Why?

  • Tony FangEmail author
  • Fiona MacPhail


The focus of this paper is on a microeconomic analysis of the annual transition rate from temporary to permanent work of individual workers in Canada for the period 1999–2004. Given that a large proportion of temporary employment is involuntary, an understanding of the factors associated with the transition to permanent work may inform public policy. Factors associated with the transition, namely, human capital, household structures and labour market segmentation are analyzed using data from the Statistics Canada’s Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (SLID) for the period 1999–2004, limited to paid workers aged 20–64 years, excluding students. Among the key factors associated with the transitions are younger age and low unemployment rates. The analysis adds to the Canadian and international literature on transitions from temporary to permanent work.


Transition rates Temporary Permanent jobs Labour market flexibility Canada 



The authors thank Workshop participants for helpful comments, especially David Green.


  1. Amuedo-Dolantes, C. (2000). Work transitions into and out of involuntary temporary employment in a segmented market: Evidence from Spain. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 55(2), 309–325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baker, D., Glyn, A., Howell, D., & Schmitt, J. (2004). Unemployment and labor market institutions: The failure of the empirical case for deregulation. Report to the International Labour Organization and available at
  3. Bentolila, S., & Dolado, J. J. (1994). Labour flexibility and wages: Lessons from Spain. Economic Policy, 18, 54–99.Google Scholar
  4. Blanchard, O., & Landier, A. (2001). The perverse effects of partial labour market reform: Fixed term contracts in France. Economic Journal, 112, 829–853.Google Scholar
  5. Blank, R. (1994). The dynamics of part-time work. NBER, Working Paper No. 4911.Google Scholar
  6. Booth, A. L., Dolado, J. J., & Frank, J. (2002a). Symposium on temporary work: Introduction. Economic Journal, 112, F181–F188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Booth, A. L., Francesconi, M., & Frank, J. (2002b). Temporary jobs: Stepping stones or dead ends?. Economic Journal, 112, F189–F213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Campbell, I., & Burgess, J. (2001). Casual employment in Australia and temporary employment in Europe: Developing a cross-national comparison. Work, Employment & Society, 15(1), 171–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chalmers, J., & Kalb, G. (2001). Moving from unemployment to permanent employment: Could a casual job accelerate the transition? Australian Economic Review, 34(4), 415–436.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Doeringer, P. B., & Piore, M. J. (1971). Internal labor markets and manpower analysis. Lexington: D.C. Heath.Google Scholar
  11. Fuller, S., & Vosko, L. (2008). Temporary employment and social inequality in Canada: Exploring intersections of gender, race, and immigration status.Google Scholar
  12. Galarneau, D. (2005). Earnings of temporary versus permanent employees. Perspectives on Labour and Income, 17(1), 40–53.Google Scholar
  13. Gaston, N., & Timcke, D. (1999). Do casual workers find permanent full-time employment? Evidence from the Australian Youth Survey. The Economic Record, 75(231), 333–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Holmlund, B., & Storrie, D. (2002). Temporary work in turbulent times: The Swedish experience. Economic Journal, 112(480), F245–F269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hutchens, R. (1986). Delayed payment contracts and firm’s propensity to hire older workers. Journal of Labor Economics, 4(4), 439–457.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Janz, T. (2004). Low-paid employment and ‘moving up’. Income Statistics Division, Income research paper series, Statistics Canada.Google Scholar
  17. Kapsalis, C., & Tourigny, P. (2005). Duration of non-standard employment. Perspectives on Labour and Income, 17(1), 31–39.Google Scholar
  18. MacPhail, F., & Bowles, P. (2008). Temporary work and neoliberal government policy: Evidence from British Columbia, Canada. International Review of Applied Economics.Google Scholar
  19. Morissette, R., & Johnson, A. (2005). Are good jobs disappearing in Canada? Analytical Studies Research Paper Series, No. 239. Statistics Canada.Google Scholar
  20. Noreau, N. (2000). Longitudinal aspect of involuntary part-time employment. Income Statistics Division, Statistics Canada.Google Scholar
  21. O’Reilly, J., & Bothfeld, S. (2002). What happens after working part time? Integration, maintenance or exclusionary transitions in Britain and western Germany. Cambridge Journal of Economics, 26, 409–439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Polivka, A. E. (1996). Into contingent and alternative employment: by choice? Monthly Labor Review, 119(10), 55–74.Google Scholar
  23. Segal, L. M., & Sullivan, D. G. (1997). The growth of temporary services work. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 11(2), 117–136.Google Scholar
  24. Vosko, L., Zukewich, N., & Cranford, C. (2003). Precarious jobs: A new typology of employment. Perspectives on Labour and Income, 15(5), 39–49.Google Scholar
  25. Wiens-Tuers, B. A. (2001). Employee attachment and temporary workers. Journal of Economic Issues, 35(1), 45–48. Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Administrative Studies, Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional StudiesYork UniversityTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Economics ProgramUniversity of Northern British ColumbiaPrince GeorgeCanada

Personalised recommendations