Statistics Canada’s job numbers for September point to the urgent need for a new government that will prioritize support for industry.
September saw a loss of 62,000 full-time jobs in September—the worst drop in full-time employment since October 2011. The net job gain of an unimpressive 12,100 jobs came from 74,000 new part-time jobs, continuing the troubling trend that has seen three quarters of all jobs created in the last six years as precarious—part-time, temporary or self-employed.
The news is especially harsh for Canada’s manufacturing heartland. Ontario lost 68,000 full-time jobs in September, only offset by part-time gains, for a net loss of 34,000 jobs.
“Since the Conservatives took office, Canada has lost 412,000 manufacturing jobs, including 274,600 in Ontario alone,” said CLC president Hassan Yussuff.
“Now the sector is grappling with Conservative leader Stephen Harper’s decision to push through the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is expected to cost auto and manufacturing sectors another 20,000 jobs,” he added.
The TPP weakens Canadian content rules and eliminates auto tariffs, forcing parts manufacturing workers to compete with low-wage workers in other countries.
“The Harper government has turned Canada into an exporter of raw materials and that is hurting our economy and making it harder and harder for Canadian workers to find the quality, full-time jobs they need to support their families and feel secure about their future,” said Yussuff.
“We need a change in direction and the only way we will get that is by choosing a new government that rejects lopsided corporate trade deals like the TPP and champions industries that keep good Canadian jobs at home,” he added.
Despite the supposed economic recovery in the second half of the year, the job market continues to sputter. Since June, the Canadian economy has only added an average of 6,000 jobs a month, which is far below the rate of growth of the working-age population.
The national unemployment rate rose again in September, ticking up to 7.1 from 7.0 percent. For 15 to 24 year olds, the unemployment rate rose to 13.5 percent. That means another 18,400 more Canadians lining up next to the 30,000 more Canadians added to the unemployed in August. Unemployment in Saskatchewan, Alberta and above all, Newfoundland and Labrador rose especially sharply.