Job numbers hit Tories in the gut
Job numbers hit Tories in the gut This article is more than 8 years old

Job numbers hit Tories in the gut

The Conservative government’s talking points on jobs took a hit Friday as Statistics Canada reported a loss of 46,000 jobs in December. The drop, “the results of declines in full-time work,” means the unemployment rate rose 0.3 percentage points to 7.2%, Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey said. “Dampened by the decline in December, employment gains in 2013 amounted to 102,000 or 0.6%. […]

The Conservative government’s talking points on jobs took a hit Friday as Statistics Canada reported a loss of 46,000 jobs in December.

The drop, “the results of declines in full-time work,” means the unemployment rate rose 0.3 percentage points to 7.2%, Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey said. “Dampened by the decline in December, employment gains in 2013 amounted to 102,000 or 0.6%. Employment growth averaged 8,500 per month in 2013, compared with 25,900 in 2012.”

The disappointing jobs numbers only tell part of the story.

The Conservatives repeatedly boast that Canada has the best economic record among G-7 countries, with more than 1 million jobs created “since the depth of the global economic recession.” 

The problem? If you don’t use selective statistics to skew the results, Canada is actually in the middle of the pack — behind Germany, Japan and the United States — when population growth and purchasing power are taken into account.

Broadbent Institute fellow Miles Corak, an economics professors with the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa, also explains why Canada’s isn’t doing nearly as rosy as the Conservatives say.

“While a million more people at work sounds like a lot, the Canadian population has also increased by roughly the same amount with the result that the fraction of Canadians working has been pretty well unchanged for the last five years, and has yet to return to rates before the recession,” writes Corak.
 

In other words, “a million is a big number, but it’s not enough to signal a complete recovery from the recession.”

Corak shows what Canada’s real employment rate, as a fraction of the working age population, looks like:

 Miles Corak's employment rate graph

The data are to November 2013, with the dashed vertical lines bracketing the business cycle recession. Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM Table 282 0087.

 Photo: lendingmemo. Used under a Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0 licence.

Our journalism is powered by readers like you.

We’re an award-winning non-profit news organization that covers topics like social and economic inequality, big business and labour, and right-wing extremism.

Help us build so we can bring to light stories that don’t get the attention they deserve from Canada’s big corporate media outlets.

 

Donate
PressProgress
PressProgress is an award-winning non-profit news organization focused on uncovering and unpacking the news through original investigative and explanatory journalism.

Most Shared

westjet

Top Doug Ford Adviser Sent Premier’s Office Backchannel Message About Meeting With Russian Government

Related Stories

WestJet asked non-union staff to provide scab labour in case of Calgary, Vancouver strike

View the post
News

This Right-Wing Québec Media Website Has Mysterious Ties With Alberta’s Oil Lobby

View the post
video

‘It Feels So Good’: Conservative MP Arnold Viersen Celebrates Overturning of Roe v. Wade

View the post

Explainers

Human rights & inclusion

Amira Elghawaby

Here’s The Problem With Hoping Corporations Will Be Socially and Environmentally Responsible On Their Own

View the post
Politics & strategy

Jeremy Appel

The battle of the PACs in Calgary’s municipal election

View the post
Politics & strategy

Jeremy Appel

27 Different Candidates are Vying to be Calgary’s Mayor. Here Are the Biggest Issues at Stake.

View the post
Why do newspapers always have a business section but not a labour section? We’ve launched a free newsletter covering labour issues in Canada.
Get All Your Canadian Labour News in One Place
Why do newspapers always have a business section but not a labour section? Good news! We’ve launched a newsletter covering labour issues in Canada.