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Friday, 15 February 2013

The PCs and the Young Man-Cession

Inside the Tube
Off to look for work...
Just a quick update for now to show you two graphs we whipped up today on employment figures in Québec and Ontario.

As you can see there are several trends worth pointing out: one is that people in the 45-64 phase of their life feel compelled to stay in full-time jobs, or get into full-time jobs at much higher rates than in 2000.

At the same time, we can see at the bottom of the line graph that people 65 and older have more than doubled their full-time workloads.

Predictably, given the dearth of job growth in Ontario and Québec (53.8% Full-time employment as a percentage of the working-age population in 2000, compared to 52.5% in 2012), this means twenty-somethings have been increasingly pushed out of the full-time workforce.

Looking at the dark and light blue lines on the graph, the young folks act as a sort of canary in the coal mine for broader employment. That is, it's going down, down, down.

No Country For Young Men

Even among twenty-somethings, the effects aren't being evenly distributed. The employment rate for young men took quite a large dive in 2008-2009 and hasn't really even begun to recover. Meanwhile, the 21st century job market for young women has been rather great, on balance, especially in Québec.

A Political Opportunity?

We're all familiar with the endless media stories of youth wage scarring, that is, reduced income over time for people who were unemployed as youth.

The trend we've identified will probably make more than a few young people unhappy over time, and, if our second chart is any guide, these will disproportionately be young men, at least compared to the status quo.

Angry young men? Sounds like a prime pickup opportunity for the Conservatives!

But wait - the PC vote in prior elections is worth looking at here.

Let's pretend you are a late-20s, white, unmarried, university-educated male who lives near an urban center and is unemployed (no or low income) and not really inclined to vote. Since this is a quick update, we won't bother getting into the multivariate, predictive analyses and that kind of thing. But if we go down the shopping list of Pearson correlations, who stands out as likely to catch the Young Man-cession Vote? (Figures are for the non-North of Ontario only)

Males 25-29:  PCs: -0.465*. No other significant correlations.

Never legally married: No significant correlations, but if in a common-law relationship, the figures are Liberals -0.269 **, NDP +0.313 *, with no significant correlation to the PCs.

Renting (a likely scenario): +0.222 ** for the NDP, while for the PCs it is -0.488 **, no Liberal correlation.

Old home (before 1986): NDP +0.510 **, PCs: -0.272 **.

Other household types (e.g. roommates): Liberals 0.253 **, NDP 0.349 **, PCs -0.815 **.

Low median income in 2005 - Other household types: Liberals -0.151 *, NDP 0.457 **, no PC correlation. (We have reversed the signs)

High median rent (because in an area with transit): Liberals 0.429 **, NDP -0.379 *.

Moved within the past 5 years within same city: Liberals 0.305 ** , NDP 0.222 * , PCs -0.650 **

Education 25-34 : University at Bachelor's level or above: PCs : -0.509. 

Field of study: Humanities and the social sciences have few significant correlations, except Humanities -0.469 ** for the PCs. Let's give the PCs a break and assume Social Sciences. 

Mother tongue English only: Liberals -0.262 **, NDP -0.213 **, PCs 0.557 **. 

Knowledge of English only: NDP -.374 ** , PCs 0.098 **. 

Non-immigrants: Liberals -0.335 **, NDP -0.123 *, PCs 0.603 **. 

Not a visible minority: -0.283 ** for the Liberals and 0.565 ** for the PCs.

Population 15 and over unemployed: Liberals 0.163 **, PCs -0.598 **.

Public transit (technically employed people in the Census, but we'll pretend it applies the same): Liberals 0.549 * , NDP 0.167 ** and PCs -0.659 **

(For the number-crunchers: the stars here are the usual significance markers.)

The Results

We could go on, but the results seem pretty overwhelming, when we add these up all together in some kind of "correlation scorecard": 0.379 for the Liberals, 1.151 for the NDP, and a rather impressive -1.659 for the PCs.

The PCs seem to have turned off every potential demographic category for victims of the Young Man-cession. Indeed, when we looked at the potential for gains among the parties, there were not a whole lot of groups up for grabs anyway. We might then guess that the PC camp within the next few months is more likely to follow a base-turnout strategy rather than an attempt at making conversions.

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