Jobs report not so rosy: Unifor

Slow growth, sluggish economy stunts job creation

Despite a positive jobs report from Statistics Canada, the employment landscape might not be as rosy as it appears, according to Unifor.

Last week, the union released its findings following its Good Jobs Summit, which was held last fall to spark dialogue about the future of work in Canada’s economy.

In it, Unifor noted slow growth coupled with a sluggish economy demonstrates the need to stimulate job creation.

“Employment over the last year has only increased by less than one per cent, this is nothing to get excited about,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor’s president. “If anything, we should be questioning why our economy is only churning out new jobs in spits and spats. There is no continual improvement — only hopes raised and hopes crushed with each new month.”

Unifor’s report comes on the heels of Statistics Canada’s labour force survey, which was released on April 10 and indicated the unemployment rate held steady at 6.8 per cent in March.

The economy also unexpectedly added 28,700 jobs last month, driven by a surge in part-time positions and gains in the retail and wholesale trade sector. The oil and gas industry rebounded slightly, by adding 6,300 positions, and after losing 26,000 jobs earlier this year.

Taken out of context, the news may not be all good, Dias added.

According to Unifor’s top economist Jim Stanford, the Canadian economy added 138,000 positions (an increase of 0.78 per cent) in the last year — but because the working age population more than doubled, new jobs are not keeping up with population growth.

As well, full-time employment fell by 28,000 jobs and, for workers between 15 and 24-years-old, full-time employment has declined by 15,000 positions over the past year.

In the last year, 100,000 paid positions were created, amounting to an increase of 0.7 per cent, with more than two-thirds of that growth happening in the public sector. Private sector firms grew by 0.2 per cent overall in the past year, or 32,000 jobs.

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