Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

April 09, 2010 09:33 ET

Canadians Need Good Jobs: Georgetti Says Unemployment Among Young Workers Also a Problem

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 9, 2010) - The availability of good quality and family-supporting jobs for Canadians remains a problem even as the country begins to emerge from a devastating recession, says Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress. 

Georgetti was commenting on the release by Statistics Canada of labour force figures for March 2010. The unemployment rate remains at 8.2% and 1.51 million Canadian men and women are out of work. "The quality of jobs being created remains a problem," says Georgetti. "We have lost 287,000 full-time jobs since October 2008 and in too many cases, they are being replaced by lower paid part-time work and insecure self-employment." 

The CLC president says he is especially concerned for younger workers, who have been hard hit by the recession. "Their unemployment rate has been high throughout the winter and now they will be joined in their job search by students looking for summer jobs. The government has to target them in some way." 

Georgetti says CLC research also indicates that as many as 500,000 Canadians who initiated Employment Insurance claims in 2009 will exhaust their benefits because new jobs remain difficult to find. "Our federal government has been cutting back on EI benefits for the last 15 years and in this recession too many unemployed Canadians have been left to their own devices. We must reform the EI system."

Quick Analysis from CLC Senior Economist Sylvain Schetagne  

There were more jobs in March 2010 than in February, but those new jobs were more precarious. The labour market added 32,200 part-time jobs last month, but 14,200 full-time jobs were eliminated, for a net increase of 17,900 jobs.

Despite a few signs of recovery in the Canadian economy, the unemployment rate in March 2010 remained at 8.2%, the same rate as in February. In March, the percentage of Canadians unemployed for more than six months was at the highest level since the jobs crisis began in 2008. In March, 21.75% of unemployed Canadians, or more than one in five, had been unemployed for more than six months. Back in March 2008, the percentage of unemployed Canadians who were unemployed for more than six months was at 12.4%.

The "real" unemployment rate, a rate that includes discouraged workers and involuntary part-time workers, remained very high in March 2010, at 12.4%. In March 2008, the "real" unemployment rate was 8.9%. The real unemployment rate has shown no signs of improvement between March 2009 and March 2010, remaining at 12.4%.

The number of unemployed in March remained more than 33% above what it was before the beginning of the jobs crisis in 2008. There were 1,515,100 people unemployed last month compared to 1,137,400 in October 2008.

Finally, younger workers aged 15 to 24 continued to face high unemployment. Their unemployment rate increased to 15.6% in March 2010, compared to rates below 12% prior to October 2008.

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 130 district labour councils. Web site:

Contact Information

  • CLC
    Sylvain Schetagne
    Senior Economist
    Dennis Gruending
    Mobile: 613-878-6040