Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

February 05, 2010 09:47 ET

Jobs Recovery Depends on More Government Stimulus

Georgetti says private sector is too weak to lead job growth

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 5, 2010) - The federal government must invest more money in public services and infrastructure to create good jobs and an economic recovery, says Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress.

Georgetti was commenting on the release by Statistics Canada of labour force figures for January 2010. The unemployment rate remains at 8.3% and 1.53 million Canadian men and women are out of work. "There will be no real economic recovery until those who are unemployed are back working again at full-time, family supporting jobs," he says.

"Ottawa will table its new budget in a few weeks and it simply must expand its stimulus spending," Georgetti says. "The private sector cannot, at this point, create a sufficient number of jobs and economic growth. Now is time for industrial development strategies and procurement policies that create jobs for Canadians."

Georgetti wrote recently to all MPs, as well as provincial and territorial premiers and finance ministers urging them to spend more on economic stimulus measures that will create jobs and growth. He adds that a number of economists in banks and think tanks are saying the same thing. "We need additional support from the government. This is not the time to turn off the taps."

Georgetti says that as many as 500,000 Canadians who initiated Employment Insurance claims in 2009 will exhaust their benefits because new jobs remain difficult to find. "We have to allow these people to get back to work and government stimulus is the way to do it."

Quick Analysis from CLC Senior Economist Sylvain Schetagne

After job losses (-28,300) in December 2009 and no change in the unemployment rate in the last 3 months, the number of jobs increased by 43,000 in January 2010. But this figure hides the fact that 41,500 of these jobs were part-time. The unemployment rate is down slightly, now at 8.3% (but it was 6.3% in October 2008).

A survey of about 15 private sector economists released this week predicts an unemployment rate of 8.5% in 2010. Canada now has over 1,531,700 unemployed men and women. This represents an increase of 35% since October 2008.

The broadest measure of unemployment, which includes discouraged workers and involuntary part-time workers, has been rising constantly since the beginning of the crisis, rising from 9.0% in January 2008 to 12.3% in January 2010. Duration of unemployment is also up. The percentage of unemployed Canadians who have been out of work for more than 6 months went up from 12.7% in January 2008 to 20.3% in January 2010 (data not seasonally adjusted). In other words, in January 2010 more than 300,000 unemployed Canadians have been unemployed for 27 weeks or more. Canadian workers who have been laid-off since October 2008: 279,800. The number of full-time jobs lost since October 2008: 333,200.

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

  • Sylvain Schetagne
    Economist
    613-668-4372
    or
    Dennis Gruending
    Communications
    613-526-7431 or Mobile: 613-878-6040