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  • Help us build a better Ontario September 14, 2017
    If you live in Ontario, you may have recently been selected to receive our 2017 grassroots poll on vital issues affecting the province. Your answers to these and other essential questions will help us decide what issues to focus on as we head towards the June 2018 election in Ontario. For decades, the CCPA has […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Does the Site C dam make economic sense for BC? August 31, 2017
    Today CCPC-BC senior economist Marc Lee submitted an analysis to the BC Utilities Commission in response to their consultation on the economics of the Site C dam. You can read it here. In short, the submission discussses how the economic case for Site C assumes that industrial demand for electricity—in particular for natural gas extraction […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Ontario's middle and working class families are losing ground August 15, 2017
    Ontario is becoming more polarized as middle and working class families see their share of the income pie shrinking while upper middle and rich families take home even more. New research from CCPA-Ontario Senior Economist Sheila Block reveals a staggering divide between two labour markets in the province: the top half of families continue to pile […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Join us in October for the CCPA-BC fundraising gala, featuring Senator Murray Sinclair August 14, 2017
    We are incredibly honoured to announce that Senator Murray Sinclair will address our 2017 Annual Gala as keynote speaker, on Thursday, October 19 in Vancouver. Tickets are now on sale. Will you join us? Senator Sinclair has served as chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), was the first Indigenous judge appointed in Manitoba, […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • How to make NAFTA sustainable, equitable July 19, 2017
    Global Affairs Canada is consulting Canadians on their priorities for, and concerns about, the planned renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In CCPA’s submission to this process, Scott Sinclair, Stuart Trew and Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood point out how NAFTA has failed to live up to its promise with respect to job and productivity […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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The Progressive Economics Forum

Tax Cuts, Dead Money, and Lackluster Jobs Growth

Over the past year, the Canadian labour force has grown by 185,000 people, but we have only added 176,600 jobs.  The population grew by 1.2%, but employment only grew by 1%.  The unemployment rate has not budged, at 7.3%, a far cry from the pre-recession rate of 6%.

For youth, the picture is worse, with 72,000 fewer youth employed this August compared to last year.

With lackluster private sector jobs growth, and cuts in the public sector at both federal and provincial levels, the situation seems unlikely to improve any time soon.

Corporate tax cuts have not had their desired stimulative effect, with even Governor Mark Carney pointing out the failure of the private sector to productively invest – choosing instead to hoard piles of ‘dead money’.

The OECD predicts only modest economic growth for the Canadian economy in the 3rd and 4th quarters of this year, and the Bank of Canada will likely continue to hold rates where they are.  Canadian households have record levels of debt, and almost half of Canadians are living paycheck to paycheck.

So what is the way out of this economic funk?

A substantial youth employment strategy, and public sector investment on projects that improve private sector labour productivity.

Urban transit, and quality affordable childcare.

Working with employers and educators to ensure there are enough spaces to provide youth with the skills required to innovate and compete.

These are the things that our government should be working on implementing, rather than  misguided austerity programs & corporate tax cuts.

Enjoy and share:


Comment from Paul Tulloch
Time: September 7, 2012, 7:40 am

From today’s lfs report the one scary figure (amongst many) that popped out at me was the decline in construction jobs. Looking at the past few months, there has been a noticeable decline in construction jobs. I thought it may be related to housing bubble stuff, (and it may be) but building permits were also released and if permits can be a gauge, then the trend has been a slowdown in non-residential construction.

However I am not sure about the leads and lags between those two.

Since the spring, seasonally adjusted construction jobs are worryingly trending down.

Again, thank goodness consumers are buying cars in both the USA and Canada, that is about the only value adding industry showing any strength- more consumer debt though is undoubtedly fueling it, as I reported on this blog a couple months back , car loans, especially sub prime car loans in the States are in record territory.

Comment from Guy
Time: September 7, 2012, 9:10 am

The picture you paint is somewhat gloomy but here in BC, the Liberals are all over the media saying BC created 70 thousand jobs in the past 12 months surpassing all Provinces including Alberta. Can this be right ?

Guy in Victoria

Comment from Angella MacEwen
Time: September 7, 2012, 9:37 am

Guy in Victoria – the picture is certainly rosier out west. BC has created 70,000 full-time jobs since last August, but lost almost 20,000 part-time jobs.

Year over year employment growth was 2.3% in BC, 2.1% in Alberta, and 3.6% in SK.

In absolute increase in the numbers of jobs, BC wins, with 51,700 and Alberta is close behind with 43,300 more jobs than in August 2011.

Comment from Lana Payne
Time: September 12, 2012, 4:27 pm

Angela (and Guy):

Loving all your work on youth, Angela. I am actually make this a big part of our work at Federation in NL. Talking about what kind of jobs we want, what kind of society we want for the next generation.

Interesting that BC created jobs at the same time that the minimum wage was finally increased. I actually think we need a new study on how last round of min wage increases in Canada have 1. helped women big time – especially in private sector, 2. have prevented inequality from being even worse, 3. have helped provincial economies etc. Interesting to see some of the work/research from the US around how higher min wages needed as economic stimulus.

The victories on min wage in every province (won mostly by the labour movement) must be celebrated. They have made a huge difference and I think in times when there is so much bad news, we need to highlight a few victories – and own those victories.

Sol, and keep up the excellent work!


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