November job numbers show Canada’s economic situation remains precarious

December 4, 2015

Statistics Canada’s most recent Labour Force Survey results are cause for concern, as they demonstrate a continuing, precarious economic situation.

Employment fell by 36,000 jobs in November, and the unemployment rate rose to 7.1 per cent. Nova Scotia and Manitoba saw massive increases in unemployment. Saskatchewan was the only province to see any job gains this month.

“Looking at these numbers and how they fit into the long-term trend, it’s concerning. Our previous government sat on their hands. Now, our new government has an opportunity to turn things around, and there is no time to delay,” said Canadian Labour Congress President Hassan Yussuff.

Looking deeper into the numbers shows that self-employment growth is outpacing regular, paid jobs. Regular paid positions fell by 62,000 in November, partially offset by a 26,000 gain in precarious, self-employed positions.

The Liberal government’s election platform included strong commitments to investing in infrastructure, including new, dedicated funding for public transit, social infrastructure, and green infrastructure. Yussuff said following through on these infrastructure investments should be a key priority for the new government.

Further, while the unemployment rate for young workers fell from 13.3 per cent to 12.7 per cent, that’s because 40,000 young workers dropped out of the labour market in November 2015.

“The situation we’re seeing shows a youth employment strategy is urgently needed, and that must include expanded training and apprenticeship opportunities,” said Yussuff.

This month’s numbers did show a small increase in manufacturing positions; however, Yussuff said he’s concerned the Trans-Pacific Partnership could reverse this trend.

“The TPP has the potential to seriously impact auto parts manufacturing unless significant changes are made,” said Yussuff. “We look forward to public discussion about the details of the agreement and how we can safeguard manufacturing jobs.”

Looking back at the past year, job growth has been slow (0.7 per cent) and concentrated in the public sector. Jobs in the natural resources sector fell by seven per cent or 26,000 over the past year and there has not been an engine of economic growth to pick up the slack. Health care and social assistance was the sector with the largest job growth over the past year, adding 69,000 jobs (a three per cent increase).

Related Articles

On Labour Day, the nation’s unions launch a plan to disaster-proof Canada

Ottawa – To mark Labour Day, Canada’s unions are calling on all levels of government to focus on investments and community supports to help restart our economies and protect Canadians. Forward Together: A Canadian Plan is a new campaign centred on ensuring that Canada is ready to disaster-proof our nation so that no one is left behind when crisis hits.…
Read More

Earth Day 2020

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Like most things, Earth Day will look very different this year, as events move online as people around the world avoid gathering in groups in an effort to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this unprecedented health and economic crisis brought on by the pandemic, nature has the power…
Read More

Historic job losses represent enormous challenge

Canada’s unions say further efforts are required to support unemployed workers and to preserve existing jobs as the number of Canadians who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic continues to rise. According to Statistics Canada, employment fell by one million in March and the ranks of the unemployed grew by 413,000. Canada’s unemployment rate rose by 2.2 percentage…
Read More