Latest job numbers point to need for urgent extension of EI benefits and job retraining

February 5, 2021

OTTAWA – Canada’s unions are urgently calling on the federal government to extend EI and recovery benefits along with increasing support for skills retraining as workers continue to struggle with rising unemployment.

Following higher than expected job losses at the end of 2020, workers faced another large drop in employment, with 213,000 jobs lost last month.

“We’ve lost the small gains we had made in the fall. Canada lost three times more jobs in January than we did the previous month,” said Canadian Labour Congress President Hassan Yussuff.

“Many workers are due to exhaust both unemployment and recovery benefits next month. The federal government must extend these benefits so that workers who are unemployed, through no fault of their own, will be supported until our economy begins a more stable recovery.”

Ongoing lockdown measures aimed at slowing the spread of the virus are inevitably having a devastating effect on job growth. Workers of colour and women have been hit especially hard by the economic upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Workers are struggling to make ends meet. The federal government must implement strong measures that will help ensure a healthy economic recovery when the pandemic is over. These job numbers highlight the important need for greater access to training opportunities for jobless workers looking to retrain or improve their skill set while receiving EI and recovery benefits,” said Yussuff.

To read more about the direct investments the CLC is calling for, visit canadaplan.ca.

To arrange an interview, please contact:
CLC Media Relations
media@clcctc.ca
613-526-7426

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