Canada Must Set Quality Standards for New Job Creation, CAW says

October 7, 2011, 9:15 AM EST

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Encouraged by news that Canada pumped out 61,000 net new full-time jobs in September, it's the quality of those jobs that matter more to the health of our economy than the quantity, said CAW President Ken Lewenza.

Lewenza, responding to the latest monthly report of Canada's national Labour Force Survey, pointed to the fact that nearly two-thirds of all full-time was because more Canadians were self-employed. The rest of the labour market gains (outside of regular seasonal education sector gains) were isolated to the services sector where wages often tend to be lower, and working conditions more precarious, across various industries like retail and hospitality.

"If I could I'd put every new job created through a quality assurance test to make sure it's a decent job - with good wages, benefits and that provides some stability - not simply a last-choice survival job," Lewenza said.

Lewenza's comments are being echoed by trade unionists, worker advocates and government officials around the world today. Since 2008, October 7 has been recognized as the World Day for Decent Work - an initiative spearheaded by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).

Lewenza said the Harper government must take the lead on a national good jobs strategy in an effort to ensure all Canadians have access to quality jobs in the 21st century. Lewenza also called on the Harper government to pull back from any planned austerity measures, and instead view the public service, rightfully, as an important jobs creator.

Lewenza noted that over half of the 61,000 jobs created in September were found in the public sector, while thousands of jobs were lost in the private sector -particularly in manufacturing.

For more information on the CAW's precarious work campaign or the World Day for Decent Work, click here.

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