Ontario Falls Off a Cliff
The Ontario economy fell off a cliff last month as the US meltdown intensfied the already virulent manufacturing and forest jobs crisis.
An almost unprecedented 42,000 manufacturing jobs were lost in November in Ontario alone – that’s one in twenty of the total, and more than the total of manufacturing employment in either Oshawa or Windsor. And 20,000 jobs were lost in other sectors in Ontario. Unemployment rates soared in hard hit industrial communities, particularly Kitchener, Hamilton, St Catharines- Niagara and Oshawa. The overall Ontario unemployment rate leapt from 6.5% to 7.1%.
Nationally, 75,000 employees lost their jobs – led by the loss of manufacturing jobs and 26,000 related transportation and warehousing jobs – and the unemployment rate rose from 6.2% to 6.3%. Unemployment would have risen much more if the labour force had not shrunk as many workers, particularly older workers dropped out. The participation rate fell from 67.9% to 67.6%.
These numbers are at least as bad as those we saw in the brutal 1989 to 1992 manufacturing led recession. With almost 400,000 manufacturing jobs now lost since the peak in 2002 this downturn is likely to be far worse… unless governments respond to this crisis very quickly and in a very determined way.
The numbers also leave little room for doubt that the Canadian economy as a whole has now entered a recession.