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  • Boom, Bust and Consolidation November 9, 2018
    The five largest bitumen-extractive corporations in Canada control 79.3 per cent of Canada’s productive capacity of bitumen. The Big Five—Suncor Energy, Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL), Cenovus Energy, Imperial Oil and Husky Energy—collectively control 90 per cent of existing bitumen upgrading capacity and are positioned to dominate Canada’s future oil sands development. In a sense they […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • A new Director for CCPA's BC Office: Message from Mary Childs, Board Chair October 24, 2018
    The CCPA-BC Board of Directors is delighted to share the news that Shannon Daub will be the next BC Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Last spring, Seth Klein announced that, after 22 years, he would be stepping down as founding Director of the CCPA-BC at the end of 2018. The CCPA-BC’s board […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Who Owns Canada’s Fossil-Fuel Sector? October 15, 2018
    The major investors in Canada’s fossil-fuel sector have high stakes in maintaining business as usual rather than addressing the industry’s serious climate issues, says a new Corporate Mapping Project study.  And as alarms ring over our continued dependence on natural gas, coal and oil, these investors have both an interest in the continued growth of […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Pharmacare consensus principles released today September 24, 2018
    A diverse coalition representing health care providers, non-profit organizations, workers, seniors, patients and academics has come together to issue a statement of consensus principles for the establishment of National Pharmacare in Canada. Our coalition believes that National Pharmacare should be a seamless extension of the existing universal health care system in Canada, which covers medically […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Kate McInturff Fellowship in Gender Justice September 19, 2018
    The CCPA is pleased to announce the creation of the Kate McInturff Fellowship in Gender Justice.This Fellowship is created to honour the legacy of senior researcher Kate McInturff who passed away in July 2018. Kate was a feminist trailblazer in public policy and gender-based research and achieved national acclaim for researching, writing, and producing CCPA’s […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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The Progressive Economics Forum

Record-Low Manufacturing Employment

Today’s Labour Force Survey indicates that the seemingly robust economic growth reported by Statistics Canada earlier this week is not translating into improved job prospects for Canadian workers.

For the second consecutive month, employment is down and unemployment is up. (By contrast, the situation improved south of the border.)

Manufacturing: Another Record Low

Although overall employment in goods-producing industries rose (mostly due to construction), manufacturing employment declined again. Canadian manufacturing has lost 627,000 jobs over the past nine years.

That loss exceeds the total labour force employed in all industries in six of ten provinces. (For example, Manitoba’s total employment is 624,500.)

Manufacturing employment now stands at 1.7 million, the lowest level ever recorded by the Labour Force Survey (which goes back to 1976).

Sluggish Wages

For those who have jobs, wages are not keeping up with the cost of living. Statistics Canada reports that average hourly wages rose by 2.4% over the past year, less than 3% inflation (although we do not yet have Consumer Price Index figures for November).

Death of a Talking Point

The Saskatchewan Party government was just re-elected touting the “lowest unemployment rate in Canada.” Today’s report indicates that the unemployment rate is higher in Saskatchewan than in Alberta.

UPDATE (December 2): Interviewed on BNN

UPDATE (December 3): Quoted by The Toronto Star, Hamilton Spectator, Financial Post and CBC.

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Comments

Comment from Anonymouse
Time: December 2, 2011, 9:35 am

The Reformers are transforming Canada into a petro-state. High oil prices increase bitumen exports which increases the dollar which, in turn, reduces manufacturing exports of other industries. The fact that manufacturing jobs are disappearing is not a surprise.

Ripping up the boreal forest, destroying the Canadian economy, increasing carbon emissions by processing bitumen – all for the sake of short term jobs in Alberta and votes for Reformers – does not make much sense.

We need a comprehensive energy and economic plan for all of Canada if we’re interested in keeping the country.

Comment from worker
Time: January 13, 2012, 6:36 pm

It makes no sense to destroy the oil industry to make manufacturers feel better. It was largely Alberta oil money that bailed out the CAW after GM & Chrysler went bankrupt.Yes, high exports increase our dollar, but that is a back-door raise – allowing greater purchasing power of imports. If Canadian workers are not competitive with workers in the US, accept reduced pay in dollars that buy more.

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