Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

October 07, 2011 10:10 ET

Younger Workers Being Left Behind

CLC President comments on job numbers for September 2011

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 7, 2011) - Young workers continue to experience high rates of unemployment and the Canadian Labour Congress wants Ottawa to devise a strategy that would assist in providing full-time and secure employment for them.

CLC President Ken Georgetti was commenting on the release by Statistics Canada of its Labour Force Survey for September 2011. "Too many of our young workers are unemployed, too many of them are stuck in part-time jobs and Ottawa should be paying particular attention to them."

There were 1,334,200 unemployed Canadians in September and the unemployment rate was 7.1%. While the labour market created a significant number of jobs in September, the unemployment rate among workers aged 15 to 24 was 14.0%, and 48.2% of young workers are employed only part-time.

Georgetti adds that the Employment Insurance system is failing a high percentage of unemployed workers in all age groups. "We know that six out of 10 unemployed Canadians don't get Employment Insurance and that is a scandal. Workers paid their EI premiums in good faith, believing the program would be there for them when they needed it but the EI regulations bar the door on them."

The CLC has called consistently for Ottawa to invest in public infrastructure and services to create a stronger and more sustainable economy, and to make improvements to the EI program to tide people over while they are out of work.

Quick Analysis from CLC Senior Economist Sylvain Schetagne

After months without significant growth, employment grew rapidly in September 2011, when 60,900 jobs were added to the labour market. The unemployment rate was down, from 7.3% to 7.1%, and the number of unemployed workers stands at 1,334,200, a reduction of 33,700 over one month.

All jobs created last month were full-time (+63,800), reducing the proportion of part-time work from 19% to 18.9% between August and September 2011. Unfortunately, almost two out of three of these jobs were among the self-employed (+38,900), a category that often represents the only alternative for work when Employment Insurance benefits run out.

The growth in the number of employees (other than in self-employment) was concentrated in the public sector (+36,900), mainly in education and public administration (which may be due to many provincial elections). This does not represent a recovery of job growth in the private sector. Jobs in manufacturing were down again (-23,500) last month. Finally, the labour market has not improved for young workers in the 15 to 24 year-old age group. Their unemployment remained unchanged at 14.0% in September, and full-time work was down (-3,000) while part-time work was up (18,400), bringing the part-time rate to 48.2%.

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. Website: Twitter: @CanadianLabour.

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