Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

October 08, 2010 09:43 ET

Government Must Step Up to Plate for the Unemployed

CLC president responds to Statistics Canada job numbers

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 8, 2010) - The president of the Canadian Labour Congress is calling on the federal government to focus its attention on creating jobs and on extending benefits to the unemployed. 

"The economy is slowing down, unemployment remains high and workers are running out of Employment Insurance benefits while they look for new jobs," says CLC president Ken Georgetti. "We have not recovered the ground lost since this economic crisis began two years ago." 

Georgetti was commenting on the release by Statistics Canada of its Labour Force Survey for September 2010. There were 1,493,000 unemployed Canadians in September, a number well above the 1,137,400 who were unemployed in October 2008. The unemployment for September remains high at 8.0%.

Georgetti says that Ottawa should continue its spending on economic stimulus rather than shutting it down and that the government must extend EI benefits for unemployed workers. Statistics Canada reported that only 45.0% of unemployed Canadians were receiving EI benefits in July. That is down from 50.3% a year earlier.

"Too many Canadians remain unemployed and too few of them are receiving EI benefits," Georgetti says. "Workers paid into the EI program in good faith and now it should be there for them when they need it."

Quick Analysis from CLC Senior Economist Sylvain Schetagne  

September 2010 can be characterized as a month of declines in Canada's labour force trends. 

The number of Canadians active in the labour market declined by 24,400 between August and September, despite the fact that the number of people in the working age population (15-64) continued to increase.

The number of jobs also declined, with 6,600 fewer jobs in September than in August.

The number of unemployed Canadians declined by 17,900 last month, but Canada still had 355,600 more workers unemployed in September 2010 than in October 2008, prior to the economic crisis.

The decline in both the size of the labour market and in the number of unemployed contributed to a slight decline in the unemployment rate, from 8.1% to 8.0%. This may sound like good news but in fact this decline is the result of fewer Canadians active in the labour market.

September was a particularly bad month for younger workers aged 15 to 24. Their unemployment rate increased significantly from 14.6% in August to 14.9%, after 41,900 of them lost their jobs in September.

The number of part-time jobs declined last month (-43,700) while the number of full-time jobs increased (+37,100). The number of full-time jobs in Canada remains significantly lower than before the economic crisis -- Canada had about 150,000 fewer full-time jobs in September 2010 than in October 2008.

The long-term unemployment rate remains high. The percentage of Canadians who have been unemployed for more than six months was 21% in September, well above the rate measured in September 2008, before the economic crisis.

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

  • Sylvain Schetagne
    CLC Senior Economist
    Dennis Gruending
    CLC Communications