Canada must change approach to job creation, CAW says

December 2, 2011, 10:50 AM EST

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The absence of a national good jobs strategy for Canada is cause for concern and should prompt the federal government to change its approach to job creation as the economy continues to stagnate, CAW National President Ken Lewenza says.

With crises mounting in Europe, the U.S. economy sputtering and the corporate sector electing to stockpile profits instead of investing in the real economy, Lewenza stressed the need for strong federal job creation policies and a national good jobs summit.

Lewenza's comments are in response to the second consecutive dismal monthly labour market report issued by Statistics Canada earlier today that showed the country had shed another 19,000 net jobs in the month of November, extending the number of overall job losses to 73,000 in the past two months.

"The global economy is on pins and needles and workers in Canada are feeling the pressure," Lewenza said. "Why isn't the Harper government taking meaningful and pro-active steps to pre-empt a possible economic fall-out? Why does this government think it best to sit on their hands and watch things go from bad to worse before taking action?"

The national Labour Force Survey reported further losses in the manufacturing sector (more than half a million jobs in the past years), leaving one of Canada's most strategic and high value sectors a shell of itself, Lewenza said.

Today, fewer than 1 in 10 workers are employed in the manufacturing sector, the lowest ever recorded. The survey also reported a further tanking of job prospects for young workers, with a drop of 18,000.  

Lewenza urged the federal government to re-consider cost-cutting (and job-slashing) austerity and short-term debt-fighting measures.

He also called for the Harper government to hold the line on important public sector jobs, direct new public investment towards local infrastructure projects (with a special emphasis on local-content requirements to boost Canada's failing manufacturing sector) and immediately hold a national good jobs summit, involving labour, government, business and other civil society groups to craft a national good jobs strategy.

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