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Published: January 8th 2010
Source: Canadian Labour Congress
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Georgetti says unemployment, low wages hurting younger workers

OTTAWA – When the federal government introduces a new budget in March, it must make the creation of good jobs a priority, says Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress.

Georgetti was commenting on the release by Statistics Canada of labour force figures for December 2009. The unemployment rate remains at 8.5% and 1.57 million Canadian men and women are out of work.“Workers have had a dismal year and we’re not out of the woods yet,” he says.

Georgetti says that both the number and quality of jobs available are big issues for workers. “The income of most Canadian workers has dropped in the past decade, even while corporate executives saw their pay outpace inflation by 70%. Too many other Canadians are surviving on poorly paid and part-time jobs. The middle class is taking a beating and we have to turn that around.”

Georgetti says that younger workers have been especially hard hit. Youth unemployment remains at 16.1%. “The United Nations has declared 2010 as the International Year of Youth, but in Canada we are failing those young people. The federal government has to do something to help out here and they can begin with the budget in March.”

Quick Analysis from CLC Senior Economist Sylvain Schetagne

Those who began to celebrate signs of a fast recovery of the labour market last month may be feeling a kind of hangover today. No jobs were created in December 2009. The level of employment was down by 2,600 between November and December. The number of employees declined by 17,800 while the number of self-employed workers, a less secure form of employment, increased by 15,200 during the same period. In December 2009, employment was down significantly for women in the 25 to 54 age group (-23,900), in the public sector overall (-22,100), and in public administration (-21,600). The number of unemployed is at 1,567,800, which is 36.5% higher than it was in October 2008.

Since that month, 341,900 full-time jobs have been lost by working Canadians. Half of these lay-offs occurred for those in the 15 to 24 age group. They lost 170,400 out of the 341,900 full-time jobs lost since October 2008. The unemployment rate among 15 to 24 year-olds went from 12.2% to 16.1% between October 2008 and December 2009, leaving 458,400 Canadians aged 15-24 unemployed last month.

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.2 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada’s national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 130 district labour councils. Web site: www.canadianlabour.ca
 

 
 
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