Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

October 10, 2008 09:27 ET

Employment: Part-Time Jobs for a Full-time Crisis

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 10, 2008) - "Entering the Thanksgiving weekend after two weeks of major financial turmoil, I suppose that today's job numbers could be seen as a bit of good news. Still, for working families with full-time needs, an economy that creates mostly part-time jobs, only increases their sense of insecurity and hopelessness," says Ken Georgetti, President of the Canadian Labour Congress about today's Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey. (See below detailed analysis by the Canadian Labour Congress' Senior Economist Sylvain Schetagne.)

"Low-quality job creation is always an omen of tough economic times. The rising uncertainty brought about by two weeks of round-the-clock financial meltdown, makes it more glaring than ever that Canada has no public policy to stimulate the creation of full-time family-supporting jobs."

"The vast majority of Canadians, who will vote on Tuesday, work for wages. At this time of crisis, they are very much concerned by the quality of the jobs out there. And they will seek the candidates who focus on their need of a forceful jobs strategy, a Made-in-Canada plan to sustain and create jobs here," explains Georgetti.

The unemployment numbers - Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey reports that, last month, September 2008, the unemployment remained steady at 6.1%, just like in August as the economy added 107,000 new jobs, ninety per cent of them part-time. This was not sufficient, however, to absorb all the new comers on the job market. Last month, in seasonally-adjusted numbers, there were 1,119,300 Canadians who wanted to work but did not have a job. That is 6,800 more than in August.

Senior Economist Sylvain Schetagne's Analysis

- As expected usually, at the beginning of an economic slowdown, the quality of jobs created declines before the numbers of jobs created start falling. Although the Canadian economy created just about enough jobs to absorb the growth of the labour force in September 2008, the quality of jobs created leaves much to be desired.

- Sign of an obvious slowdown, the Canadian economy has created 97,000 part-time jobs in September. 18.8% of the Canadian workforce worked part time in September 2008, compared to 18.3% in the previous month.

- More than one out of every four jobs created in September were jobs in the self-employed category.

- The manufacturing sector in Ontario continues to bleed. By September, it had lost 16,000 manufacturing jobs over the last year. Since November 2002 Canada has lost 342,000 jobs in that sector.

- Young workers, age 15 to 24, lost 4,500 full-time jobs. For each full-time job lost, 10 part-time jobs were being offered for that age group.

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

  • Canadian Labour Congress
    Jean Wolff
    613-526-7431 or 613-878-6040 (cell)