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'Generation Squeezed': Today's family staggering under the pressure
Date:10/18/2011

icy leadership if we are to ensure Canada once again works for all generations."

Kershaw and a team of researchers at UBC's Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP) have created reports for each province in Canada, comparing the costs of living, household incomes and services available to families today with those during the 1970s.

The research also exposes a troubling trend: while Generation Squeeze struggles to raise young families, retiring Baby Boomers have higher incomes and more wealth as the housing market has nearly doubled over their adult lives.

"The Occupy Wall Street movement and related protests across North America signal a growing concern about inequity between the rich and the rest," Kershaw explains. "Our pan-Canadian study shows we can only address these pressures by tackling the inherent intergenerational tension."

Kershaw and colleague Lynell Anderson found that the average household income for young Canadian couples has flat-lined since the mid-1970s (after adjusting for inflation) even though the share of young women contributing to household incomes today is up 53 per cent. While household incomes have stalled, Generation Squeeze is simultaneously struggling with the costs of living because housing prices increased 76 per cent across the country.

According to Kershaw and Anderson, the time, income and service squeeze doesn't just hurt young families. The Canadian business community pays more than $4 billion annually because work-life conflict among parents of pre-school children results in higher absenteeism, employee health insurance premiums and recruitment expenses. The squeeze also contributes to rising costs of crime, poverty, education and health care.

The study shows Canada is among the worst industrialized countries when it comes to adapting to the declining standard of living for young families.

"Canada needs a new policy to restore the standard of living for the generation
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Contact: Michael Robin
michael.robin@usask.ca
306-966-1425
University of Saskatchewan
Source:Eurekalert

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