Latest job numbers encouraging but a lot rides on federal job investments: Canada’s unions

Canada’s unions are calling on the federal government to create more than one million jobs in the upcoming budget, pointing to today’s job numbers as further evidence of the need for expanded investments.

Statistics Canada released its latest Labour Force Survey today. It shows that more than 1.5 million unemployed and under-employed workers continue to struggle to find work, and thousands more have dropped out of the labour force altogether.

While February and March numbers showed strong job gains, the cresting of the Third Wave in April and subsequent lockdowns mean many of those gains could be lost.

“Following February’s achievements, a second month of strong job growth is welcome, but the federal government must stay the course and ensure a strong and broad-based recovery,” said Hassan Yussuff, President of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). “We need to see strong fiscal support to bring people back into the job market, especially women and workers of colour, and into decent green and care-economy jobs.”

Last fall’s Speech from the Throne promised the largest investment in Canadian history in training. That investment is what Canada’s unions will be looking for in the federal budget on April 19.

Ambitious investments in training and education are much-needed over the short- and medium term to help workers affected by ongoing technological change. Unions want to see expanded investment in upskilling opportunities and targeted support for the 30% of jobless Canadians who count among the long-term unemployed.

“Now is the time for a rapid return to full employment and investing in improving job quality to help workers fully get back on their feet,” said Yussuff.

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