Jobs, Economy and Environment

Where is Canada’s economic recovery? Not in today’s job numbers.

February 6, 2015

Today’s Labour Force Survey shows once again that the government’s claims of a full economic recovery just don’t add up, says the Canadian Labour Congress.

“Too many jobs are missing,” said CLC president Hassan Yussuff. “The government says it has created 1.2 million jobs, but the reality is that a smaller proportion of Canadians are working today than before the recession – even when we account for Canada’s aging population.”

On top of that, he added, the majority of jobs being created are precarious – either part-time or in the self-employment category.

January may have seen a net gain of 35,000 positions, but it was the addition of 47,000 part-time positions that made up for the loss of 10,000 full-time positions.

“A lot of self-employment is notoriously precarious, so January’s creation of 41,000 self-employment positions is not a good sign – it’s a sign of labour market stagnation,” said Yussuff.

For young workers, already facing high unemployment rates of around 13 percent, the news is bad too – 15,000 young workers reported they’d given up looking for work. Not surprising, given that one quarter of all young workers are unemployed or underemployed.

Ontario has been hardest hit by the recession, and has been slow to recover. If it had the employment rate it had before the recession, there would be an additional 140,000 jobs for Ontario workers aged 15 to 64.

Even Alberta is missing jobs. A pre-recession employment rate in Alberta would mean 93,800 more jobs. This is especially troubling because tens of thousands workers from across Canada moved to Alberta for work, and it’s widely anticipated that the economy there is just going to get worse.

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