Today’s Labour Force Release (January 11.)

Today’s job numbers show that fears of a looming recession are justified, and underline the need for immediate action. Labour has called for cuts to interest rates to help bring down the dollar, a national high level task force on the manufacturing jobs crisis, targeted measures to support new manufacturing investment, and job creation through Buy in Canada policies tied to new infrastructure and environmental investments.

•    The first ministers meet tonight against the background of an alarming deterioration in our economy, the result of the high Canadian dollar combined with a visibly slowing US economy.

•    The labour force numbers show a much higher than anticipated deterioration in the economic situation. In a single month, we lost another 33,000 manufacturing jobs, bringing the total job loss in this sector in 2007 to 132,000. This was more than double the manufacturing job loss of 59,000 in 2006. In December we lost a total of 51,000 private sector paid jobs, partly offset in the total numbers by an increase in mainly low-paid and insecure self employment.

•    While the national unemployment rate remained stable at 5.9% in December, the unemployment rate and numbers of unemployed rose among adult men and women, and would have risen for youth if it had not been for the fact that many withdrew from the labour force.

•    The figures underline the continuing story of Canada’s two economies. Alberta in particular continues to generate jobs and  higher wages – driving up the national averages for both – while Ontario and Quebec in particular struggle because of the manufacturing and forestry crisis. Ontario’s unemployment rate jumped alarmingly from 6.2% to 6.5% in December, a huge increase for a single month. Ontario has lost 64,000 manufacturing jobs this year. Quebec has an unemployment rate of 7.0%.

One comment

  • Adding on to the bad news from last months employment measures is the annual totals for the 2007 calender year. One particularly troubling statistics is the number of private sector jobs created last year. If you take out the self employed jobs, there was a mere 0.4% increase in private sector employment. Almost all the jobs gains were classified in the public sector or self-employment for the entire ’07 year. Jeepers!

    If that doesn’t sound alarm bells with those at 24 Sussex tonight, I am not sure what will.

    If there is something constructive with this meeting job and assuming the BOC is listening, the prevailing winds that blow from Quebecacross the Ottawa River and up through 24 Sussex and then on over to the hill and finally across to the BOC had better be carrying the message, “half point decrease on Jan. 22 or more”. Sorry forgive me for implicating that there is any connection between the hill and the BOC. We all know that in a modern economy no such linkage exists. (I swear I never played a sillier pretend game even when I was a young lad, and all by grown men, pretty hillarious in a Monty python type way.)

    paul.

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