Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

July 08, 2011 10:29 ET

Ottawa Must Focus on Younger Workers: CLC President Comments on Job Numbers for June 2011

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 8, 2011) - The Canadian Labour Congress says that young workers continue to be victimized by high rates of unemployment and it wants Ottawa to create a strategy that would assist in providing full-time and secure employment for them.

Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress, was commenting on the release by Statistics Canada of its Labour Force Survey for June 2011. "The rate of unemployment for young workers remains stuck in the double digits," says Georgetti. "These young people are a precious resource and they deserve better. Why do we stand for this?"

According to Statistics Canada, there were 1,387,600 unemployed Canadians in June and the unemployment rate remained at 7.4%. In the age group of 15 to 24-year-olds, unemployment was much higher, at 14.3%. "Young people cannot build a future if they are unemployed or stuck in dead end and poor quality jobs as is often the case now," Georgetti says. "The federal government is busy cutting jobs and giving tax breaks to corporations in the hope that they will take up the slack. This misguided policy is hurting young workers."

Georgetti says many older workers can't leave their jobs because they don't have adequate pensions, and that means younger workers can't find their first jobs or get decent work. "This is all backwards. We need government policies to create improved youth employment strategies for good quality and secure jobs, and we need reforms that provide retirement security for older workers."

Quick Analysis from CLC Senior Economist Sylvain Schetagne

The labour market in June 2011 was characterized by more part-time work and an increase in youth unemployment. While employment was up in June (+28,400), three out of four jobs created were part-time. The proportion of part-timers is back up to 19.3 % of all workers, about half a percentage point higher than before the jobs crisis began in the fall of 2008. The number of unemployed workers in June was also up by 13,500, for a total of 1,387,600. The number of unemployed remained about 25% higher than in the fall of 2008. As a result, the unemployment rate stayed the same at 7.4%, which was 1.3% higher than in October 2008.

The youth unemployment rate increased in June. Of the 16,000 new labour force entrants aged 15-24 years old, only 1,800 found employment while 14,200 ended up unemployed. Their rate of unemployment increased by 0.4%, from 13.9% in May to 14.3% in June 2011. For students not in school in June (aged between 20 and 24 years old), the unemployment rate was 11.0%, an increase from 10.4% last summer. However the employment and unemployment rates for Canadians aged 55+ has evolved differently. Their share of the labour market continues to grow, with an extra 8,900 jobs in June, and their unemployment rate was down from 6.4% in May to 6.2% in June.

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