Georgetti says unemployment remains too high: Comments on Statistics Canada job numbers for June

July 5, 2013
OTTAWA ― The President of the Canadian Labour Congress says that the rate of unemployment in Canada remains unacceptably high and that the economy is not producing enough jobs, particularly for younger workers.

Ken Georgetti was commenting on the release by Statistics Canada of its Labour Force Survey for June 2013. There were 1,355,100 unemployed Canadians in June, and the overall unemployment rate remained stuck at 7.1%. In the 15-to-24 age group, unemployment stood at 13.8%, and 48% of young workers are employed part-time.

“It is unacceptable to have more than 1.3 million people out of work, and 397,000 of those are young workers. How are they going to pay off student debts, buy homes and make a life for themselves? The government must pay attention to this and the private sector has to invest more of the cash reserves they are sitting on.”

Georgetti adds that Ottawa’s recently announced Canada Jobs Grant program is not going to work. “The federal government is simply clawing back dollars that it had been providing to provinces for training programs.”

Quick Analysis from CLC Senior Economist Angella MacEwen

Employment remained virtually unchanged in June, with 1,355,100 Canadians unemployed. Unemployment remained at 7.1%. The unemployment rate for young workers was 13.8%, and 48% of young workers are employed part-time.

Average job growth in the first six months of 2013 was 14,000 jobs per month, nearly half of what it was in the last six months of 2012. Employment has increased by 242,300 in the past year, but that wasn’t enough to keep up with the growth of 245,000 persons in the labour force. The real unemployment rate is virtually unchanged from June 2012, at 20.4% for young workers.

There are other signs of a continued weak labour market. Nearly one-third (31%) of part-time workers would like a full-time job, the highest proportion for June since 2009. The number of marginally attached workers, those who would like a job but are not currently looking for work, remains high at 463,000 persons.

The unemployment rate for new Canadians (a person granted landed immigrant status within the past 5 years) is significantly higher than the national average at 11.8%. The unemployment rate for persons granted landed immigrant status more than ten years ago is 6.6% – similar to that of persons born in Canada which is 6.8%.