He was commenting on the release by Statistics Canada of its Labour Force Survey for February 2011. There were 1,448,500 unemployed Canadians in February, well above the 1,138,400 who were unemployed in October 2008. The unemployment rate for February 2011 remained at 7.8%. It was 6.1% in October 2008.
“We’ve been stuck for two years now with about a million and a half Canadians unemployed and many who are working have part-time and poorly paid jobs,” Georgetti says. “Unemployment and low wages do not build a healthy economy.”
Georgetti is calling on the Conservative government to table a jobs-friendly budget on March 22. “People who have good, family-supporting jobs spend that money in the community and pay their share of taxes. That is the best way for the government to increase revenues and balance its books.”
Georgetti is also calling for Ottawa to make long term investments in public infrastructure, as well as improved public services such as child and elder care. “These investments will create many more jobs for each dollar spent than corporate tax cuts.”
Quick Analysis from CLC Senior Economist Sylvain Schetagne
The Canadian economy in February 2011 had fewer full-time jobs, but more part-time, self employment and temporary work. These are not signs of a strong job recovery.
In February, self-employment was up by 25,500 while the number of all employees decreased by 10,400. In the private sector, the number of jobs decreased by 20,000. The number of temporary jobs rose significantly between February 2010 and 2011, from 1,646,300 to 1,740,000, despite what some people have described as a strong job recovery.
The number of unemployed Canadians barely changed in February (-1,100). Canada had 334,700 more unemployed individuals than before the beginning of the Great Recession, an increase of 30%.
In February 2011, more than one out of 5 unemployed Canadians (21%) had been unemployed for more than 6 months. By contrast, in January 2008, before the recession, about one out of 10 (11.9%) was unemployed for more than 6 months.
The real unemployment rate in February 2011 (including unemployed workers, discouraged searchers, those waiting for jobs to begin, and involuntary part-timers) was 11.7%. That is the same number as in February 2009, at the beginning of the Great Recession.
Finally, the proportion of employed Canadians working part-time (19.7%) was up again in February 2011, near the record level registered during the Great Recession.
The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.2 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada’s national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 130 district labour councils. Web site: www.canadianlabour.ca
Sylvain Schetagne, CLC Senior Economist: 613-526-7412
Dennis Gruending, CLC Communications: 613-526-7431 or Mobile: 613-878-6040 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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