Employment: Full-time policy needed

For immediate release
Friday, July 11, 2008

OTTAWA – “Higher unemployment. Massive loss of full-time jobs. Lower participation rate. Public sector and private sector, there is serious deterioration in the job market,” says Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress about today’s Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey. (See below detailed analysis by the Canadian Labour Congress’ Senior Economist Sylvain Schetagne.) The Canadian Labour Congress blames the worsening jobs situation in the country on the federal government.

“We have a full-time government and we expect them to work full-time on the most important issue of the moment: the protection and creation of full-time jobs with family-supporting wages and benefits,” adds Georgetti. “We need decisive intervention. The Bank of Canada must focus on jobs and families before apparent signs of future inflation. And our government needs a forceful jobs strategy, a Made-in-Canada plan to sustain and create jobs here. Moreover, it is becoming more and more unwise for the government to carry on with its plan to swallow the Employment Insurance fund surpluses.”

The unemployment numbers – Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey reports that, last month, June 2008, the unemployment rate rose to 6.2% from a rate of 6.1% in May. The number of unemployed workers continue to rise. Last month, in seasonally-adjusted numbers, there were 1 124 100 Canadians who wanted to work but did not have a job. That is 6 900 more than in May and 20 300 more than two months ago.

Senior Economist Sylvain Schetagne’s Analysis

  • Employment needs to be the focus of all public policy decision makers, including at the Bank of Canada. Today’s numbers should lead the Bank to lower rates on Tuesday (July 15). The absence of federal government intervention or of a Canadian jobs policy does not help jobs creation.
  • The net demise of 5,000 jobs in June is an obvious sign of an economic slowdown, especially in the central Canada centre of the country.
  • The unemployment rate is up. The rate of part-time employment is rising.
  • The participation rate and employment rate are decreasing. Clearly, the labour market has deteriorated in June.
  • The creation of 34 200 part-time jobs does not offset the loss of 39 200 full-time jobs. It is evidence that there is a loss of confidence in the economy among employers as they turn away from full-time jobs and offer part-time jobs.
  • Ontario, once again greatly impacted by the deterioration of the North American economy. In fact, 45,500 full time jobs have been disappeared in the province in June alone.
  • For younger workers, the job market is not better. The unemployment rate among those aged 15-24 rose for a third consecutive month, rising by 11.9% to 12.2% 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: www.canadianlabour.ca

    Contact: Jean Wolff, Communications, cell 613-878-6040