Part-time Jobs Don't Make for Real Recovery, says CAW President

February 5, 2010, 8:49 AM EST

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The growth in part-time work is absolutely no cause for celebration," says CAW President Ken Lewenza, in response to today's unemployment numbers released by Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey.

"Instead it means that more Canadians are ending up in precarious employment - characterized by irregular hours, little job security, low wages and few benefits - this is really nothing to cheer about."

The figures released this morning showed a surge in part-time employment of 43,000 new jobs, but no real growth in full-time work. Lewenza called the exclusive growth in part-time employment alarming and warned that it gives Canadians and more importantly, the government, a false sense of security that the economy is improving.

In the manufacturing sector for example, the country lost another 15,000 jobs this last month, while the professional, scientific and technical services category has lost more than 22,000 jobs.

"Workers need full-time, sustainable jobs that they can survive on, instead of having to string together part-time jobs to make ends meet," said Lewenza. "I believe that's what these new statistics show. We cannot jump start the economy with only part-time or temporary employment opportunities."

The latest growth in part-time work coincides with the long-term labour market trend which has seen the number of people in part-time work, but actively looking for full-time employment, skyrocket by a whopping 184 per cent since 1997, according to Statistics Canada's own data.

"Today, approximately 900,000 Canadians fall into this category of people who work part-time, but are looking for full-time jobs," said Lewenza. "This is a trend that won't be reversed without serious government attention and intervention.  The country cannot sustain itself on a labour market of part-time jobs."

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