Canada needs a Marshall Plan to deal with youth unemployment

November 5, 2014

The Canadian Labour Congress says Canada needs a Marshall Plan to deal with double digit youth unemployment.

The organization was responding to Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz’ suggestions before a parliamentary committee earlier this week. Poloz proposed that young unemployed workers should pad their resumes by volunteering or taking on unpaid internships.

“Governor Poloz’ comments speak volumes about the bleak prospects for young workers,” said CLC president Hassan Yussuff.

“But proposing unpaid internships and volunteer work cannot be seen as a serious response to chronically high youth unemployment,” he added.

In September 2014 the under-employment rate for young workers was at 25.6%.

“The solution is clear. Within 4 months of leaving school, all workers under 25 should be guaranteed either a good job, training or a paid internship,” said Yussuff.

“We can do this simply by redirecting a fraction of the billions of dollars in corporate tax cuts showered on already profitable companies over the past few years, or allocating a portion of the mountain of dead money that firms continue to sit on,” he added.

In the last 14 years, corporate income taxes have been cut from 29% to 15%. Despite this windfall, employers are choosing to sit on $650 billion in cash, while business investment remains weak, and job creation continues to lag.

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