Full-time employment is a way to describe the job market in Canada, where the unemployment rate is about 8 per cent, well above the OECD average of around 4 per cent.
And the picture is even bleaker for Canadians in the middle class.
According to Statistics Canada, Canadians in that group — those with annual income of at least $100,000 — make up nearly 10 per cent of the total workforce.
The numbers don’t include part-time workers.
Those who do have to make do with part- time jobs.
That’s where the gap between the middle and high earners widens.
The data also shows the share of those in the bottom 10 percent of earners in the labour force, those who earn between $20,000 and $30,000, has shrunk from 28 per cent to just 18 per cent over the past three decades.
The gap between rich and poor remains wide, but those in that bracket have experienced a slight decline in income.
Those with the highest incomes — those earning more than $200,000 annually — have also experienced a decrease in income since the 1970s, when they earned nearly $250,000.
The trend is not as sharp in recent years.
In 1980, for example, about half of all Canadians in this group earned over $100k, and a third earned over that amount.
By 2015, the proportion of people in the top 10 percents had dropped to 36 per cent and 35 per cent in the lowest fifth of earners.
This year, however, that share has grown to 52 per cent for those earning over $200k and has also grown to 64 per cent among the lowest 20 per cent earners.
There’s no doubt that the labour market has improved since the early 1980s, and in a lot of ways, it’s getting better.
The number of people who are working full- time has doubled since 1985, and now stands at 7.2 million.
But it’s also clear that there’s been some decline in the share working part- or full-timers do, as the OECD noted in a report last year.
It’s a big question mark about whether that trend will continue in the future.
And even if it does, the numbers don.
The report says that the share in the labor force that is full- or part-timing has declined from 41 per cent as recently as 2005 to 34 per cent this year.
That is an increase of about 3 per cent since 2005, but still well below the OECD’s average of 39 per cent per year.
And it also shows that part- and full-times have not accounted for much of the decline in overall labour force participation, as a share of total employment.
The OECD also noted that there are a lot more Canadians in part-and-full employment than full- and part-hours in the workforce, as well.
That means that they have more hours to look after their families and have less time to go out and do other things, but they are still working part time.
They still work more hours than full time.
This makes it difficult to project how long the trend of declining full-takers will continue.
“The long-run picture is not quite as bright as we might hope, and I think the longer-run projections of full-term employment will remain quite uncertain,” said Richard Abella, the chief economist at CIBC World Markets.
Abella has also been involved in the research project, and says that his research has found a number of other trends that will likely hold up in the long run.
“We’ve seen a lot, if not all, of the trends we’ve noted have been well in excess of the trend over the last 15 to 20 years.
So, the trend in part time has been positive, and the trend has been negative in part.
So there is some potential for it to hold up over time,” he said.
He adds that it’s possible that there will be some signs of improvement over the coming years, especially in the higher-income groups, but that we’ll have to wait and see.
But the numbers will tell us what the future holds for the middle classes.