Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

November 04, 2005 08:41 ET

Jobs: Not Enough to Brag in Argentina

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, City Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor OTTAWA--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 4, 2005) - The Canadian Labour Congress warns the Prime Minister Paul Martin against bragging about Canada's job creation record when he attends the Summit of the Americas this weekend. The central items on the Summit's agenda, in Mar del Plata, Argentina, are job creation and fighting poverty.

"No one will dispute that at 6.6%, the seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate is encouraging news," says Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress. "But around the kitchen tables of this country, people don't feel it. The Prime Minister still needs to focus on the deterioration in the quality of the new jobs being created, the fact that real hourly wages, on average, have not gained more than 0.5% over the last year, and the continuing haemorrhage in the manufacturing sector."

"Canada still needs a real job's strategy to raise productivity, to maintain and improve workers' skills and to raise the quality of life of workers and their families," explains Georgetti.

The unemployment numbers - Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey reports that in October 2005, the unemployment edged down to 6.6%, compared to 6.7% in September. The manufacturing sector added new losses of 8,000 jobs last month, totalling accumulated losses of over 206,000 jobs since November 2002. Despite the big burst of job creation - most of it part-time - last month, in October 2005, there were 1,155,900 Canadians who wanted to work but did not have a job.

Economist Pierre Laliberté's Analysis

Even though this month's labour force report confirms the ongoing weakness of Canada's manufacturing sector, and that most job created were part-time, there are some positive developments to report:

* The participation and employment rates are up, particularly those of young Canadians - a development we have been waiting for some time;

* Private sector employers are starting to pull their weight - they were in fact responsible for most job creation in October, a welcomed change from previous months;

* One month does not make a trend, but if maintained this would bode well for the future.

* Meanwhile, the government and the Bank of Canada should keep their attention to the ongoing restructuring of Canada's manufacturing sector, and the need to maintain an accommodative environment.

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada's national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 137 district labour councils. Web site: IN: ECONOMY, FINANCE, LABOUR, POLITICS, SOCIAL

Contact Information

  • Jean Wolff, Canadian Labour Congress
    Primary Phone: 613-526-7431
    Secondary Phone: 613-878-6040