Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

September 09, 2011 09:28 ET

Ottawa Must Have a Jobs Plan in Slowing Economy

CLC President comments on job numbers for August 2011

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 9, 2011) - The Canadian Labour Congress says the economy is slowing down and that Ottawa must come forward with a jobs plan to keep unemployment from rising in coming months.

"Industrialized economies are stalled or even shrinking and this means a lot of people will continue to be unemployed," says CLC President Ken Georgetti. "President Obama has just outlined a plan to create jobs in the United States but all we hear in Ottawa is how they plan to cut jobs and services. Where is our government's action plan to assist in creating good jobs?"

Georgetti was commenting on the release by Statistics Canada of its Labour Force Survey for August 2011. There were 1,367,900 unemployed Canadians in August well above the 1,138,400 who were unemployed in October 2008. The unemployment for August 2011 was 7.3%. It was 6.1% in October 2008.

"Our government repeats the mantra that generous tax cuts to corporations will lead them to create jobs," Georgetti says, "but tax cuts haven't worked and unemployed Canadians are the victims of this failed policy."

Georgetti also says the Employment Insurance program is broken and that Ottawa has to fix it. "Let's hope that we don't experience another recession, because our EI program is not ready for it."

Quick Analysis from CLC Senior Economist Sylvain Schetagne

The labour market stalled in August with the loss of 5,500 jobs. The population and labour force continue to grow, so the absence of job creation last month left an additional 16,000 Canadians without a job. The unemployment rate increased from 7.2% to 7.3% between July and August 2011. The number of unemployed Canadians in August was a quarter of a million more than it was prior to the beginning of the Great Recession in October 2008.

In August, significant reductions in employment were observed in the private sector, specifically in the construction industry (-24,300) and in transportation and warehousing (-13,500). These losses were offset by a growth in health care and social assistance (+50,100). These are signs that both the economy is trending down and government stimulus spending investment is drying up.

Government investment in public health care, however, continued to create jobs and to meet the needs of Canadians. The only positive note for August was the decrease in part-time work, down from 19.2 % to 19 % of employees between July and August 2011.

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: Follow us on Twitter @CanadianLabour

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