Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

August 05, 2005 09:29 ET

Weakness persists in Job Market

Attention: Business/Financial Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor OTTAWA--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 5, 2005) - "The trend is good, but it is a weak trend," says Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress commenting on Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey for the month of July - following up on his comments a month ago when he said pretty much the same thing.

"For working people and people in the labour movement looking for a job market that produces good, well-paying, family-supporting jobs, the good news in this month's labour force statistics is, once again, dampened by two factors: too many are left behind and the quality of newly-created jobs is questionable," explains Georgetti.

The unemployment numbers - Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey reports that in July 2005, last month, unemployment edged up slightly to 6.8% from a rate of 6.7% in June. Just under fifty-thousand jobs were lost in the construction and manufacturing sectors last month. Despite encouraging signs in May, the summer job market for students aged 20 to 24 slowed in both June and July. In July, there were 1,230,200 Canadians who wanted to work but did not have a job.

Economist Pierre Laliberté's Analysis - This month's numbers still reflect the uncertainty that has characterized the Canadian labour market over the past few months. While the overall picture looks good, it hides the weak hiring trend on the part of private employers, and the lower quality of the jobs created.

Indeed, over the past year, employees working on temporary contracts have accounted for no less than 71 percent of the increase in paid employment while they account for only 15 percent of total employees. Contributing in some part to this is the fact that the public sector has created a disproportionate share of new paid jobs - almost 40 percent or twice its share in total employment - over the same period. This is to say that employers (including the public sector) are not hiring for the long-term at this point.

Part of this uncertainty no doubt emanates from a higher exchange rate and its impact on our economy. When it comes to manufacturing, the trend is clear for anyone to see: over 168,000 jobs have been lost since the Canadian dollar has started its rise back in late 2002.

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: www.canadianlabour.ca
/For further information: Pierre Laliberté, Senior Economist, 613-526-7409/ IN: ECONOMY, FINANCE, LABOUR, POLITICS, TRADE

Contact Information

  • Jeff Atkinson, Communications Department, Canadian Labour Congress
    Primary Phone: 613-863-1413
    E-mail: communications@clc-ctc.ca