Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

July 06, 2012 10:47 ET

Ottawa Must Do More for Young Workers

CLC President comments on job numbers for June 2012

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 6, 2012) - The Canadian Labour Congress says that too many young workers are unemployed or stuck in dead end jobs, and it wants Ottawa to develop strategies that would assist in providing full-time and secure work for them.

Ken Georgetti, CLC President, was commenting on the release by Statistics Canada of its Labour Force Survey for June 2012. "The official rate of unemployment for young workers remains in the double digits," says Georgetti, "but the real rate is more like 20%. That's unacceptable."

According to Statistics Canada, there were 1,354,500 unemployed Canadians in June and the unemployment rate was 7.2%. In the 15 to 24 age group, unemployment was much higher, at 15.3%. "Young people cannot build a future if they are unemployed or stuck in dead end or precarious work," Georgetti says. "We want Ottawa to devise a strategy that would assist in providing full-time and secure employment for them by concentrating on training and skills opportunities."

Georgetti says, "These young people are a precious resource and they deserve a fair shake. They're not getting it."

Georgetti adds that the Employment Insurance system is failing a high percentage of unemployed workers in all age groups. "We know that more than six out of 10 unemployed Canadians don't get Employment Insurance because the rules make it difficult for them to qualify. These workers paid their EI premiums and believed the program would be there for them when they needed it but he door is being barred to them."

Quick Analysis from CLC Senior Economist Angella MacEwen

There were 1,354,500 Canadians unemployed in June 2012, and the unemployment rate was 7.2%. In the 15-24 age group unemployment was much higher, at 15.3%.

In the summer months, Statistics Canada collects labour force data on students who were attending school full time in March, and who intend to return full time in the fall. The unemployment rate for these students age 17-24 rose compared to June of last year. The June 2012 unemployment rate is 17.3% for students 17-19 (up from 13.8% in June 2011), and 13% for students 20-24 (up from 11% in June 2011).

The employment rate for full-time students aged 20-24 has fallen 4.2 percentage points since last June, and is now at 63.2%. This matches the employment rate for June 2009 - in the middle of the recession. Statistics Canada reports that this is the lowest June employment rate since this type of data became available in 1977.

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.3 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: Follow us on Twitter @CanadianLabour

Contact Information

  • Angella MacEwen
    CLC Senior Economist

    Dennis Gruending
    CLC Communications
    Cell-text: 613-878-6040