Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

September 09, 2005 08:59 ET

Jobs: Where Is the Plan?

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, City Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor OTTAWA--(CCNMatthews - Sept. 9, 2005) - "Every month, the employment numbers show the same weaknesses, yet our governments show the same silence and inaction," says Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress of today's Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey for the month of August.

"Now that the economic landscape is changing because of the soaring energy prices, the country urgently needs a vision. We need a sustainable long-term job creation strategy. Where is the plan?" asks Georgetti.

"The majority of Canada's citizens are workers, who want governments that make good jobs and living wages a priority."

The unemployment numbers - Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey reports that in August 2005, last month, the unemployment remained at 6.8%, the same as in July. However, overall student summer employment was down compared to last year. In August, retail lost 14,000 jobs; accommodation and food services lost 5,000 jobs and the cultural sectors lost 18,000 jobs. Moreover, with new losses of 8,500 jobs last month, the manufacturing sector has accumulated losses of over 190,000 jobs since November 2002. In August, there were 1,176,900 Canadians who wanted to work but did not have a job.

Economist Pierre Laliberté's Analysis

• Last month's number do not justify the relative optimism reflected by the Bank of Canada when it increased rates this week.

• On the whole, the economy was mostly propelled by the construction industry - a sector that is imminently sensitive to interest rate hikes. Interest rate hikes will not help manufacturing either - an industry that has been bleeding jobs for the past three years.

• More worrisome for the direction of the economy: sectors that supply direct services to consumers such as trade, culture, recreation, accommodation, food and other services have lost altogether 53,000 jobs. We can safely conclude that this is linked to the extra bite gas prices have taken on Canadians' stagnant incomes. Certainly, weakness in these sectors goes a long way to explain the lacklustre picture for summer jobs for young Canadians.

• On the whole since last year, there is obvious weakness in the growth of employment. At 1.5%, this year will be the worst since 2001, and the second worst since 1996. This results in large part from weak hires by private employers (+1.0%), which were in part compensated by job creation in the public sector (+3.0%), and by growth in self-employment (+1.4%). One also notes that temporary jobs also grew at a rate of 2.5% over the past year - another sign of the uneven quality of recent job creation.

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: /For further information: Pierre Laliberté, Economist, 819-360-6154/ IN: ECONOMY, FINANCE, LABOUR, POLITICS, SOCIAL

Contact Information

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