Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

January 07, 2011 09:45 ET

Jobs Outlook Uncertain for Unemployed Canadians

CLC president responds to Statistics Canada job numbers

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 7, 2011) - The outlook for unemployed Canadians going into 2011 is an uncertain one, says Ken Georgetti, President of the Canadian Labour Congress.

"We still have almost 1.5 million people out of work, the economy is slow to recover and employment prospects are not good, especially for younger workers and those in the public sector," Georgetti says. 

He was commenting on the release by Statistics Canada of its Labour Force Survey for December 2010. There were 1,424,100 unemployed Canadians in December, well above the 1,137,400 who were unemployed in October 2008. The unemployment for December 2010 remains high at 7.6%. It was 6.2% in October 2008.

"We keep hearing that Canada has weathered the recession better than other countries but try telling that to people who have been out of work for months or who have had to trade full-time, family-supporting jobs for work that is precarious, part- time and poorly paid."

Georgetti says final preparations are being made for the next federal budget in February or March and he is calling for policies that will focus on job creation. 

Quick Analysis from CLC Chief Economist Andrew Jackson  

There was little change in overall labour market conditions in December. The national unemployment rate was unchanged at 7.6% as a modest total of 22,000 new jobs were created.

While the total number of persons working has risen above pre-recession levels, the national employment rate (the proportion of the working age population with jobs) is still well below the pre-recession level. (61.8% compared to 63.6%.) Moreover, many of the jobs created in the recovery have been part-time and temporary.

Looking a bit deeper into the December numbers, there is a mix of good news and bad news.

The good news is that there was a big increase in manufacturing employment, up by a very strong 66,000. This resulted in a significant increase in full-time employees. Whether this trend will continue given that the Canadian dollar is now trading above parity remains in question.

The bad news is that there were major job losses in the broader public sector. 24,000 jobs were lost in health and social services, and another 10,000 jobs in education. This could mark the beginning of a public sector recession as the federal and provincial governments wind up their stimulus programs and turn to policies of austerity.

There were also clear signs of a slowdown in the housing sector, with construction employment down by 27,000.

The youth unemployment rate rose from 13.6% to 13.8% in December as more young people searched for jobs.

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: www.canadianlabour.ca

Contact Information

  • Andrew Jackson
    CLC Chief Economist
    613-240-3869
    or
    Dennis Gruending
    CLC Communications
    613-526-7431
    Mobile: 613-878-6040
    dgruending@clc-ctc.ca