Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

May 06, 2005 08:54 ET

Private Sector Lost 39 000 Jobs This Year

Canadian labour renews call for a comprehensive jobs policy Attention: Business/Financial Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor OTTAWA--(CCNMatthews - May 6, 2005) - In the first four months of this year, the private sector has shed 39,000 jobs according to Statistics Canada. Most of the job creation is in the public sector or the often precarious self-employed category.

"These statistics should worry anyone who cares about securing the place of young workers in today's economy or about creating opportunities for the students who are graduating this spring," says Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress, who acknowledges that the overall unemployment rate has fallen substantially. But asked Georgetti: "How can we accept as a society that when companies are scoring record profits and have enjoyed years Corporate tax cuts, business investments is negligeable and not creating sustaining new family-supporting jobs?"

"On Parliament Hill, they ought to focus their debates on a plan to shape a long-term job strategy and industrial policy for the country."

The unemployment numbers - Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey reports that in April 2005, last month, the unemployment rate edged down again to 6.8% from 6.9% the previous month. The manufacturing sector is still short 143,000 compared to November 2002 with a new loss of 29,000 jobs. The retail sector also lost 20,000 jobs last month. And over all for the first four months of 2005, youth unemployment increased with total losses of 30,000 jobs. In April, the number of Canadians who want to work but do not have a job now totals 1,172,400.

Economist Pierre Laliberté's Analysis

"All is not well even though the numbers are impressive at first glance," says Pierre Laliberté, senior economist at the Canadian Labour Congress.

• Today's overall results compare well with the best numbers we have had in the last twenty years - unemployment is down while labour force participation is relatively high.

• There is an increasingly troubling trend developing: the private sector has not been creating jobs over the past few months leaving it to the public sector to pick up the slack. This is happening despite corporate balance sheets that have not been better in a long while. Despite record high profit, the private sector in Canada is not investing or hiring.

• In the first four month of 2005, while the private sector was losing 39,000 jobs, the public sector added 45,000 new employees and 48,000 join the ranks of the self-employed. This last category being often the refuge of precarious and low earnings.

• The new loss of 29,000 in the manufacturing sector points to the problems emerging from a rising currency, and the need for Canada to develop industrial strategies to better position our sectors in the face of stronger competition.

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:

Jean Wolff, 613-526-7431 and 613-878-6040
Pierre Laliberté, economist, 613-526-7409
/For further information: Pierre Laliberté, Senior 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