Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

February 04, 2005 09:28 ET

Mr. Goodale's Budget Must Focus on Jobs

Attention: Business/Financial Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor OTTAWA--(CCNMatthews - Feb. 4, 2005) - Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey for the first month of 2005 confirms all the weaknesses the Canadian Labour Congress have been pointing to in the job market.

"The public sector that has been driving job creation for the past year is softening. New jobs are being created in manufacturing but we are still 86,000 jobs short of the employment level in that sector in November 2002. And the high dollar is now hitting the "information, culture and recreation" sector that has lost 36,000 jobs since August. What else does the Minister of Finance need to squarely announce that this year's federal budget must be about creating family-supporting jobs for Canadians?" asked Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress.

The unemployment numbers - Statistics Canada reports that, last month, in January 2005, the unemployment rate remained steady at 7% compared to the previous month. In seasonally-adjusted numbers, the number of Canadians who want to work but do not have a job totals 1,206,400.

Economist Andrew Jackson's Analysis

Recently appointed director of the Canadian Labour Congress' Social and Economic Policy Department, economist Andrew Jackson offers these observations:

• Today's job numbers underline the weakness of the job market, with job losses among young people (down 21,000) and adult women working full-time (down 17,000).

• Paid employment fell by 24,000 jobs, a number masked by an increase in self-employment.

• What is most striking in the data is the fact that public services - a source of strength in the job market through 2004 - took a big hit. Public sector employment fell by 48,000 in January, led by a loss of 14,000 health and social services jobs. This likely explains the decline in full-time jobs for women.

• It is striking that there was no gain in health and social services employment over the past year.

• These dismal numbers give clear grounds for concern that increased federal transfers to the provinces for health are not feeding through into better services on the ground. They suggest that a national child care and early childhood program - expected to be concluded next week - should ensure accountability so that federal funds are spent for their intended use.

• The numbers also tell Mr. Goodale that the Budget he will bring down later this month should have a major emphasis on job creation. Canadian working people and their unions propose a practical job-creating agenda: child care, workplace skills, urban infrastructure, Kyoto implementation. This would give a much-needed boost to the job market in the year ahead.

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: Andrew Jackson, Economist, 613-526-7445 and 613-286-5857 Pierre Laliberté, economist, 613-526-7409/ IN: ECONOMY, FINANCE, LABOUR, POLITICS, TRADE

Contact Information

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