By UBI Works
The benefits and justifications for a basic income as a poverty-reduction measure are well known, as are the neutral to positive impacts on employment which have been demonstrated in numerous pilots around the world.
What is lesser known are the economic benefits of a basic income as well as the urgent automation and worker disempowerment trends that call for basic income as a necessary policy response. For that purpose, we have prepared this short brief for you to share key research showing the economic imperative for basic income in Canada.
Technology has melted wages and displaced jobs over the last 50 years.
- Canadian workers' share of income has steadily decreased since the 1970s, and continues to fall. Automation has been shown to be a main contributor of this decline. 
- Since 1973, Canada's productivity has far surpassed workers' wages, due mainly to increasing automation and globalization enabled by technological advances. 
- 42% of Canadian jobs are at high risk of automation (70%+ probability) using existing technologies, including Canada's most common occupations. 
- Retraining programs have been shown to be mostly ineffective. In Ontario, only 15% of people who went through a skills training program — which cost the province $1 billion — found a job in their new field. 
Basic income can address the skills gap.
- In a 2021 survey of CERB recipients, 42% took an online class and 50% learned a new skill or hobby. 
- Over 1/4 of Ontario Basic Income Pilot recipients surveyed started an educational or training program while receiving basic income. 
Basic income supports small businesses and entrepreneurship.
- In a 2021 survey of CERB recipients, 10% started a business. 
- In 2018, over 120 Canadian CEOs representing over $2.3B in annual revenues signed a letter in support of basic income. 
- A basic income pilot in Japan increased interest in starting a business by 3.9x. 
- A basic income pilot in South Korea resulted in a 45% increase in local business revenues. 
Basic income supports working Canadians and ends the poverty trap of current social assistance programs.