Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

November 02, 2007 09:25 ET

Canadian Labour Congress: Canada Short on Full-Time Work

Georgetti says Canada needs a plan to ensure more full-time employment

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 2, 2007) - Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey for October shows that Canada continues to lose full-time, manufacturing and goods-producing jobs in favour of employment that is largely part-time - a trend particularly strong in Ontario and western Canada.

"Part-time work and self-employment tend to pay less, offer fewer benefits and make it harder for people to save and plan for the future. The increase in overall employment earnings is good news, but you have to wonder how much better working people would be doing, how much higher the growth in earnings would be if our economy was creating full-time, family-supporting jobs instead of replacing them with part-time, precarious work," says Ken Georgetti, President of the Canadian Labour Congress.

Georgetti points out that the growth in wages is strongest in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador where the oil boom is driving economic growth. In the rest of the country, where economies depend on manufacturing, agriculture and other resources, wage increases are less dramatic.

"Across the country, we are not creating the kinds of long-term, full-time jobs that provide a secure future for families and build strong communities. Canada desperately needs to address this with a long-term jobs strategy," says Georgetti.

Economist Erin Weir's Analysis

Goods-Producing Industries Cut Jobs

Canada's beleaguered manufacturing sector lost a further 3,500 jobs in October. Employment also fell by 1,900 in natural resources, 1,900 in agriculture, and 700 in construction.

Saskatchewan Bucks the Western Trend

Although more part-time jobs increased total employment, western Canada lost full-time jobs in October. Specifically, British Columbia lost 4,000, Alberta lost 3,500, and Manitoba lost 1,500. The notable exception was Saskatchewan, which replaced part-time employment with full-time employment. Saskatchewan gained 4,700 full-time jobs in October.

Ontario Employment: A Closer Look

More than half of Canada's job growth occurred in Ontario. However, these employment statistics were hugely inflated by part-time work and self-employment. Ontario gained 25,900 part-time positions, but only 6,400 full-time positions. While 24,800 Ontarians took up self-employment, only 6,500 found jobs paid by an employer. By either measure, the province's labour market has performed only one-fifth as well as the aggregate figures might imply.

Wage Growth Promising

Following two decades of anemic wage growth, average hourly wages rose at an annual rate of more than 4.0% for the third consecutive month in October. From October 2006 through October 2007, wages increased most in Newfoundland (8.4%), Alberta (7.1%), and Saskatchewan (6.2%). However, wages remained sluggish in British Columbia (1.8%) and Prince Edward Island (0.1%).

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.2 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada's national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 136 district labour councils. Web site:

Contact Information

  • Canadian Labour Congress
    Jeff Atkinson
    613-526-7425 and 613-863-1413
    Canadian Labour Congress
    Erin Weir