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Ontario Works Caseloads


  • In January – September 2018, and for the first time in any January – September since 2007, social assistance to residents of Peel Region, as captured by the number of Ontario Works (OW) caseload, declined.
  • In the first nine months of 2018, the total number of OW caseload was 170,688 cases, 0.6 per cent lower than the total number of cases registered in similar periods of 2017.
  • When viewed in terms of monthly average caseload, Peel’s OW caseload decreased from 19,075 cases in January – September 2017 to 18,965 cases January – September 2018.
  • Analysed quarterly, the number of OW caseload recorded was 56,334 cases, which was 2.4 per cent lower than the 57,700 cases recorded in the July – September quarter of 2017.
  • This was the second consecutive quarterly decline in OW cases recorded in Peel Region as it followed the 0.6 per cent decline observed in the second quarter of 2018.
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Data source – Peel Social Services
  • The quarterly reduction (year-over-year) in Peel’s OW caseloads occurred after three consecutive years (2015 – 2017) of increases in employment in Peel’s labour market and another expected increase in 2018.
  • The delay in responsiveness of OW caseloads to the increase in employment may reflect several factors including the changing nature of employment.
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Data source – Peel Social Services
  • Several factors may have contributed to the sustained increase in Peel’s OW caseloads including population growth, the shift in Peel’s labour market towards more “precarious-type” employment such as part-time, temporary and self-employment and the changing nature of employment.