Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

January 11, 2008 09:56 ET

Canadian Labour Congress: Manufacturing Job Losses More Than Double in 2007

Prime Minister needs to show leadership in jobs crisis

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 11, 2008) - Some 132,000 Canadians lost their jobs in the manufacturing sector in 2007. This is more than double the sorry statistics of the previous year. In 2006, Canada posted a loss of 59,000 jobs in these industries. (See below detailed analysis by the Canadian Labour Congress' Chief Economist Andrew Jackson.)

"This is an urgent crisis that requires immediate action. Instead of the short-term narrowly focussed "Community Development Trust" that will likely be hostage to parliamentary games, workers want the Prime Minister to show leadership to address this urgent crisis," says Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress.

Georgetti notes that Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey for December 2007, released today, defied even the most pessimistic forecast. The country posted an overall loss of jobs. Young workers are leaving the job market. Private sector creation of paid employment is particularly weak.

"When the First Ministers meet this evening, they must come up with a plan that will help stimulate the creation of good jobs with good pay. Such a plan should include at least the following five features: Buy Canadian procurement policies; a national high-level task force on the jobs crisis that brings together governments, labour and business; targeted measures to support new manufacturing investments; a call for cuts to interest rates to help bring down the dollar and positive reform of Employment Insurance," Georgetti says. "It's time for the federal government to take the lead to arrive at a coordinated made-in-Canada jobs strategy."

The unemployment numbers - Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey reports that last month, December 2007, the unemployment rate remained at 5.9%, the same as in November. The survey shows 33,000 new job losses in manufacturing. Last month, in seasonally-adjusted numbers, there were still 1,072,400 Canadians who wanted to work but did not have a job.

Chief Economist Andrew Jackson's Analysis

- Today's job numbers show that fears of a looming recession are justified, and underline the need for immediate action. Labour has called for cuts to interest rates to help bring down the dollar, a national high level task force on the manufacturing jobs crisis, targeted measures to support new manufacturing investment, and job creation through Buy Canadian policies tied to new infrastructure and environmental investments.

- The First Ministers meet tonight against the background of an alarming deterioration in our economy, the result of the high Canadian dollar combined with a visibly slowing US economy.

- The labour force numbers show a much higher than anticipated deterioration in the economic situation. In a single month, we lost another 33,000 manufacturing jobs, bringing the total job loss in this sector in 2007 to 132,000. This was more than double the manufacturing job loss of 59,000 in 2006. In December we lost a total of 51,000 private sector paid jobs, offset in the total numbers by an increase in mainly low-paid and insecure self- employment.

- While the national unemployment rate remained stable at 5.9% in December, the unemployment rate and numbers of unemployed rose among adult men and women, and would have risen for youth if it had not been for the fact that many withdrew from the labour force.

- The figures underline the continuing story of Canada's two economies. Alberta in particular continues to generate jobs and higher wages - driving up the national averages for both - while Ontario and Quebec in particular struggle because of the manufacturing and forestry crisis. Ontario's unemployment rate jumped alarmingly from 6.2% to 6.5% in December, a huge increase for a single month. Ontario has lost 64,000 manufacturing jobs this year. Quebec has an unemployment rate of 7.0%.

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: www.canadianlabour.ca

Contact Information

  • Canadian Labour Congress:
    Jean Wolff, Communications
    613-526-7431 or cell 613-878-6040
    or
    Canadian Labour Congress:
    Andrew Jackson, Chief Economist
    613-526-7445 or cell 613-240-3869