Examining changes in reported work conditions in Quebec, Ontario and Saskatchewan between 1994 and 2003-05

Publication type
Journal article
Smith PM Morassaei S Mustard C
Date published
2011 Jan 25
Canadian Journal of Public Health
Open Access?

Objectives: To examine changes in work hours, work schedules, the psychosocial work environment and job satisfaction in three Canadian provinces between 1994 and 2003-05. Methods: The study sample consisted of 46,998 respondents over four cross-sectional surveys: 1994, 2000 and 2003/05 in Quebec, Ontario and Saskatchewan. Using regression models, we examined trends in work conditions across survey cycles both unadjusted, and after adjustment for differences in age, education, gender, immigration, and method of interview. Results: Crude models observed increases in rotating shifts, long work hours and job security between 1994 and 2003-05, and decreases in physical demands and job satisfaction. When models were adjusted for changes in labour market demographics and educational capacity, we further observed decreases in skill discretion, decision authority, co-worker support and in regular scheduled work across survey cycles. We also noted differences in trends for two outcomes (decision authority and co-worker support) depending on interview method. Conclusions: Employees in Quebec, Ontario and Saskatchewan were more likely to be working longer hours, at non-standard time during the week, and to be less satisfied with their jobs between 1994 and 2003/05. In addition, it appears the labour market in these provinces has not adjusted sufficiently to accommodate the increasing number of workers with high levels of education and increasing age, with declines observed in decision authority, skill discretion and co-worker support once these changes were taken into account