Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

February 04, 2011 09:30 ET

Next Federal Budget Must Put Jobs First: CLC President Responds to Statistics Canada Job Numbers

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 4, 2011) - The federal government must use its March budget to put jobs first and allow unemployed Canadians to get back to work says Ken Georgetti, President of the Canadian Labour Congress.

He was commenting on the release by Statistics Canada of its Labour Force Survey for January 2011. There were 1,449,600 unemployed Canadians in January, still well above the 1,138,400 who were unemployed in October 2008. The unemployment for January 2011 remains high at 7.8%. It was 6.1% in October 2008.

"Our economy isn't working for millions of Canadians," Georgetti says. "Unemployment remains much higher than it was before the recession, and many workers can only find part-time, temporary and low paying jobs. The government has to pursue policies that will help to create good and sustainable jobs and not the kind of precarious employment that we have been seeing."

Georgetti is warning Ottawa not to engage in deep spending cuts in an attempt to reduce deficits. "The best way to deal with deficits is to lower unemployment, which raises government revenues and reduces spending."

Georgetti is calling for the government to make long term investments in public infrastructure, as well as improved public services such as child and elder care. "These investments will create many more jobs for each dollar spent than corporate tax cuts will ever create." 

Georgetti is also repeating his call for improvements to the Canada Pension Plan, which would guarantee retirement security for all Canadians. 

Quick Analysis from CLC Senior Economist Sylvain Schetagne  

Job growth in the Canadian economy is not fast enough and not good enough. Despite an increase of 69,200 jobs in January 2011, the unemployment rate went up from 7.6% to 7.8% simply because there were not enough jobs created to absorb the labour market growth (+106,400).

The number of unemployed Canadians was up by 37,100 last month, while Canada still has 335,800 or 30% more unemployed individuals than before the beginning of the Great Recession.

One out of 5 unemployed Canadians (20.1%) had been unemployed for more than 6 months in January 2011. As a contrast, in January 2008, before the recession, about one out of 10 (11.9%) was unemployed for more than 6 months.

The unemployment rate for younger workers was also up significantly last month, from 13.8% to 14.4%, with the addition of 20,200 unemployed Canadians aged 15-24.

The majority of jobs created last month were part-time (+38,000). The proportion of employed Canadians working part-time is up again at 19.4%.

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:

Contact Information

  • Sylvain Schetagne
    CLC Senior Economist
    Dennis Gruending
    CLC Communications
    Mobile: 613-878-6040