Jobs Recovery Far From Complete
One thing that really bugs me about the mainstream media coverage of the economy is the frequently asserted view that the jobs recovery is now almost complete – meaning that total employment has returned to pre recession levels. As one example, the Globe’s coverage of yesterday’s interest rate increase referred toÂ “Canadaâ€™s unique position as a rich country that has recovered almost all of the jobs lost during the recession.” Similarly un-nuanced enthusiasm about an almost complete recovery could be heard on CBC TV.
In fact, while the Canadian economy has begun to recover from the â€œGreat Recessionâ€ in terms of the level of GDP and overall job growth, unemployment and under-employment still remain well above pre-recession levels. The national unemployment rate in June 2010 was 7.9%, well up from 6.0% two years earlier, and the employment rate of adult men was down 2.5 percentage points from two years earlier. In June 2010, the number of unemployed workers was still more than 300,000 higher than before the recession, and the total number of permanent employees was still down over 300,000 from before the recession. Statistics Canadaâ€™s broadest measure of unemployment, which counts labour force dropouts and involuntary part-time workers, stands at 10.6%.
Much of the recovery in jobs has been in low paid, part-time and temporary employment. This shows up in the fact that average hourly wages adjusted for inflation were lower in June 2010 than a year earlier.
As of June 2010, over 300,000 workers â€• mainly adult men â€• had been out of work for six months or longer.
Canada continues to suffer from a jobs crisis which should be seriously addressedÂ as debate over the next Budget begins just as “Canada’s Economic Action Plan” is about to expire.