October job numbers are up but overall trend remains weak

November 6, 2015

October’s Labour Force Survey shows that over the past twelve months job growth still isn’t keeping up with labour force growth.

This month’s increase is for the most part based on an increase of 32,000 jobs in public administration, most of that are temporary and likely associated with hiring for the federal election.

“We still have a weak job market, underlining the need for carry-through on the investments promised by the Liberals during the election campaign,” said CLC president Hassan Yussuff.

“In particular we need to see them move quickly to fulfill their promise to invest in public infrastructure, particularly for municipalities,” he added.

Youth unemployment remained high at 13.3 per cent, almost double the overall unemployment rate of 7 per cent.

“We need to see the government carry through on its commitment to a youth employment strategy,” said Yussuff.

The CLC also hopes to see more emphasis from the new government on transitioning to a green economy.

“We need a forward-looking strategy that puts the environment first and creates good green jobs through prioritizing initiatives like public transit, making buildings more energy efficient and supporting clean energy,” said Yussuff.

Manufacturing sector threatened by TPP trade deal

Manufacturing made some gains this month, adding 6,500 jobs – but over the past twelve months employment in the sector has been flat.

Yussuff says news for the sector could get worse without major changes to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement provisions that threaten auto-parts manufacturing.

“Our initial read of the just-released text of the TPP shows that the auto manufacturing sector will be badly hit without very significant changes to the agreement before ratification,” said Yussuff.

The twelve-month trend

Over the past 12 months, job growth has not kept pace with labour force growth – the labour force grew by 228,600 workers, but there were only 143,400 net new jobs.

Most growth in full-time employment over the last twelve months has been in the public sector. Compared with twelve months earlier, the number of public sector employees was up 97,000 (2.7 per cent), while private sector employment and self-employment changed very little.

Over the past twelve months, employment in natural resources, construction, and accommodation and food services have all declined by more than 20,000 positions each.

The largest growth sector is health care and social assistance, with an increase of 84,000 positions in the last twelve months.