Jobs, Economy and Environment

When will good jobs become the priority? Canada’s job market sheds a record 112,000 private-sector jobs

September 5, 2014
OTTAWA ― The president of the Canadian Labour Congress says it’s clear Canada’s job market remains stuck in the mud and isn’t going anywhere without immediate and forceful action, pointing to the loss of 112,000 private-sector jobs last month that resulted in an overall drop of 97,800 in the number of Canadian employees.

“We have just seen the biggest loss of private-sector jobs over a single month in the history of the Labour Force Survey, yet the federal government seems to be more interested in forcing companies to offer us better cell phone plans, than helping employers create the full-time jobs people need to support their families and build a future,” says Hassan Yussuff.

The more disturbing trend, according to Yussuff, is the disconnect between growth in the population of workers and the quality of jobs they have to choose from. Over the past year, Canada’s labour force grew by almost 61,000 people, but our labour market was only able to provide them with 15,000 full-time jobs. All the rest were part-time.

“The jobs market is stuck in the mud and appears to be sinking. Canadians need to demand that the federal government deliver a national jobs strategy and begin to invest in the creation of good, full-time jobs – now,” says Yussuff.

Quick Analysis from CLC Senior Economist Angella MacEwen

These job numbers are dismal. A loss of 110,000 private sector jobs was mostly compensated for by an increase of 87,000 self-employed workers and 14,000 public sector workers. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 7%. The number of unemployed workers fell to 1.34 million from 1.35 million, as fewer young workers and women over 25 were participating in the labour market.

Over the past year, 4 out of 5 net new jobs were part time, and for core age workers (25-54) all net new jobs were part time. A similar pattern emerges when examining temporary employment. Three-quarters of net new jobs since last August were temporary, and for core age workers all net new jobs were temporary.

The underemployment rate for young workers was unchanged from last August at 14.5%, and the underemployment rate for core age workers (25-54) rose to 12.1% this August (compared to 11.8% in August 2013 and 2012). This was mostly due to an increase in the number of workers who worked part-time but sought more hours of work.

In the Northwest Territories, employment fell by 1,300 jobs over last August, matching a decline in the labour force, so the unemployment rate remained steady at 7.9%. In the Yukon a gain of 1,000 jobs over last August resulted in a fall in the unemployment rate from 4.8% to 2.3%. In Nunavut a loss of 600 jobs over last August resulted in a rise in the unemployment rate to 15.3%.

In August the unemployment rate for persons with landed immigrant status was 8.7% ― 2 percentage points higher than that for Canadian born workers. Even more worrisome, the unemployment rate for recent immigrants (less than 5 years) jumped to 14.5% this August, an increase of 2.7 percentage points compared to last August, and the highest rate in the month of August since 2010.

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 111 district labour councils

Web site: www.canadianlabour.ca.  Follow us on Twitter @CanadianLabour

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