Weak Job Market a Concern for Real Economic Recovery, says CAW President

August 5, 2011, 8:45 AM EST


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Today's announcement of continued job growth in Canada is in stark contrast to the more deeply rooted challenges facing our national labour market, said CAW President Ken Lewenza.

The national Labour Force Survey, an important monthly report card on Canada's labour market performance released earlier today, estimates that Canada's economy pumped out a modest 7,000 new jobs, building on three consecutive months of gains. The national unemployment rate dropped slightly to 7.2 per cent (7.4 per cent the month prior), primarily because fewer Canadians were actively looking for work.

But it still only tells part of the story, said Lewenza.

"If we want to gauge the strength of our labour market, we need to look well beyond the up and down of the monthly job numbers," said Lewenza. 

Lewenza said examining indicators like increases to temporary and contract employment, as well as wage stagnation, a reduction in hours worked, and other factors must all part of the total employment picture.

Lewenza likened the avid following of unemployment numbers to spectators watching a horse race, cheering for the winner. 

"We can't afford to simply cheer for new jobs. We have to dig deeper to determine whether Canada's employment core is stable or is rotting away."

"In many cases, the people who I talk to are no less afraid for their jobs than they were a year ago. And those who have lost their jobs are still having a terrible time finding new ones."

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