Unpaid labour constitutes a huge commitment of time and resources by Canadians. In 1987 the first “National Survey of Volunteer Activity” was conducted. Since then, several similar studies on time use have shown the staggering contributions of Canadian volunteers:
• In 1987, volunteers contributed 1.02 billion hours of unpaid labour.
• By 1997, that figure had grown to 1.11 billion hours.
• In 2000, volunteers donated enough hours to make up 549,000 full-time jobs—the entire paid labour force of Manitoba.
• In 2004 in the ‘Health & Hospitals’ sector alone, volunteers contributed 148 million hours: the equivalent of 77,000 full-time jobs.
• In 2007, an impressive 2.1 billion hours, or 1.1 million full-time jobs, were donated by unpaid workers. A 3.7% increase in the number of Canadians over the age of 15 and an overall increase in the number of volunteers (669,000 more than the previous year) contributed to this drastic change.
Clearly the economic contributions of unpaid workers, as they are now being recognized, are enormous—this work, if performed by paid labourers, would constitute a formidable part of the national economy.
“Caring Canadians, Involved Canadians: Highlights from the 2007 Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering, and Participating.” Imagine Canada, Toronto Ont. pp.36 [Read>]
“Giving and Volunteering forHealth Organizations and Hospitals” Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating, 2004. Imagine Canada, Toronto Ont. [Read>]
Larry McKeown. “Volunteering in Canada” National Survey of Giving, Volunteering, and Participating. Canadian Center for Philanthropy, Toronto, Ont. 2002. [Read>]
Marcus Parmegiani. “Volunteering in Canada: Factsheet #2” National Survey of Giving, Volunteering, and Participating. Canadian Center for Philanthropy, Toronto, Ont. 1997. [Read>]