Jobs, Economy and Environment

Canada needs a jobs and training strategy: Georgetti comments on disappointing July job numbers

August 9, 2013

OTTAWA ― The President of the Canadian Labour Congress says that the job numbers for July are a big disappointment and he is calling on the federal government and employers to invest in both job creation and training.  

“Our economy lost 39,400 jobs in July and the unemployment rate is up. This is a wakeup call and we want governments and private sector employers to invest in job creation and training. 

Georgetti was commenting on the release by Statistics Canada of its Labour Force Survey for July 2013. There were 1,380,300 unemployed Canadians in July and the overall unemployment rate was 7.2%. In the 15-to-24 age group, unemployment stood at 13.9%, and 47.9% of young workers are employed only part-time.

Georgetti says that the federal government should assist in creating good jobs by participating in a long-term program to replace and extend Canada’s ageing physical and social infrastructure in roads, rapid transit and child care. “We have cement chunks falling off of bridges and tractors falling into city sinkholes. There is a lot to be done and the government should get at it.”

He adds that Ottawa has provided billions in corporate tax giveaways in the expectation that companies would invest in job creation and training. “Our research has shown that those companies are generally sitting on the cash instead of investing it in job creation and training. It’s high time for them to put that money to  work in the economy.” 

Quick Analysis from CLC Chief Economist Sylvain Schetagne

Government austerity measures and job cuts hurt employment growth in Canada in July 2013. The number of people working decreased significantly by 39,400 in July 2013, and another 14,200 simply quit looking for work and left the labour market. As a result, the unemployment rate rose 0.1% to 7.2% and the percentage of the population working decreased (from 61.9% to 61.7%). Jobs were lost mainly in the public sector, with 74,000 fewer jobs in this sector as a result of declines in health care and social assistance (-47,000) and public administration (-22,900). Growth did occur in the private sector but the number of jobs in manufacturing remains lower than a year ago in July (-59,500). Young workers were hard hit in July. Compared to the previous month, there was decrease of 45,600 jobs among workers aged 15-24, while another 48,800 left the labour market. As a result, their unemployment rate is 13.9%, up from 0.1% from last month.

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.3 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.

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