Job growth lags five years after recession

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Georgetti says jobs not keeping up with population growth

[OTTAWA, ON] – The President of the Canadian Labour Congress says that employment growth continues to lag five years after the economy began to shed jobs in the Great Recession that began in the fall of 2008. 

"The number of new jobs is not keeping up with population growth and as a result too many people are being forced into precarious work and highly unstable self-employment," says CLC President Ken Georgetti. "That's causing hardship and anxiety for Canadians and especially for younger families." 

Georgetti was commenting on the release by Statistics Canada of its Labour Force Survey for September 2013. There were 1,325,000 unemployed Canadians in September and the overall unemployment rate was 6.9 per cent. The drop in the unemployment rate was entirely due to 21,000 young workers exiting the labour market. In the 15-to-24 age group, official unemployment stood at 12.9 per cent, a decrease from 14.1 per cent in August. Fully 47.8 per cent of young workers were employed part-time in September, compared to 47.4 per cent in August. 

"We are told by the Finance Minister that we're doing well in job creation," Georgetti says. "If that is so, then why is today's unemployment rate 6.9 per cent, when in September 2008 it was at 6.2 per cent?" 

Georgetti adds, "This government was reluctant to spend to stimulate the economy in the face of the Great Recession in 2008-09 and then they moved too quickly to replace stimulus with austerity. The result has been poor job growth and lingering high unemployment which has caused a lot of difficulty for too many Canadians." 

Georgetti says Ottawa should use its Throne Speech this month to signal an intention to assist in job creation and training. "We badly need to improve or replace physical infrastructure such as roads and bridges. We could also create jobs if we had programs to retrofit houses and offices to make them more energy efficient. We should be investing in good quality social services. We have unemployed people who would gladly take these jobs," he says.

Organizations: Canadian Labour Congress, Statistics Canada

Geographic location: Ottawa

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