Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

May 09, 2008 09:48 ET

Canadian Labour Congress/Employment: More People Moving From Good Jobs to Bad Jobs

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 9, 2008) - Ninety-five per cent of the jobs created last month were not paid employment: they fell in the self-employed category. These are most often precarious, insecure and low-paying jobs. "Working families will hear the news that unemployment is low but they won't believe them because they know that they cannot get ahead with the kind of new jobs the economy is creating," says Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress. (See below detailed analysis by the Canadian Labour Congress' Senior Economist Sylvain Schetagne.)

"Over and above the self-employment figures, the continuous bleeding of the manufacturing sector and the steep rise in youth unemployment further raise the spectre of a looming economic slowdown. More than ever, the government should consider the labour movement's practical proposals to address sustained creation of good jobs," says Georgetti.

The unemployment numbers - Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey reports that, last month, April 2008, the unemployment rate rose to 6.1%, from 6.0% in March because newcomers to the job market did not find jobs. In April, the economy created 18,300 self-employed positions: 95% of the new jobs. Youth unemployment jumped by 0.8% to 11.8%. The manufacturing sector registered 14,900 new losses. Last month, in seasonally-adjusted numbers, there were still 1,103,800 Canadians who wanted to work but did not have a job.

Senior Economist Sylvain Schetagne's Analysis

- In April, the Canadian labour market just stagnated. The statistics released today show a deterioration of the quality of jobs available. Good jobs are lost and the new ones come in sectors that traditionally offer lower wages and little job security.

- The manufacturing sector's fall continued in April with an additional loss of 14,900 jobs, mainly in Ontario and British Colombia. A total of 112,000 jobs have been lost since April 2007, bringing the amount of losses in this sector to 414,000 since the peak in 2002.

- The jobs created last month are mostly of the kind that generally offer less attractive working conditions and less job security. Job creation was mostly concentrated in self-employment and accommodation and food services.

- Young people are also affected by the qualitative deterioration in the labour market. The unemployment rate among youth is increasing, from 11.0% in March to 11.8% in April. Many younger workers (aged 15 to 24) joined the labour market but they cannot find a job.

- Finally, some good news emerges from the data today: the incremental trend of hourly wages. The 12-month average rose to 4.3%. However, the April increase is less important than in the previous months, undoubtedly another sign of the deterioration in the quality of jobs created.

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.

Contact Information

  • Canadian Labour Congress
    Jean Wolff
    Cell: 613-878-6040
    Canadian Labour Congress
    Sylvain Schetagne
    Senior Economist