Job Numbers Offer Further Proof That EI Improvements Still Needed, CAW President Says

September 10, 2010, 10:53 AM EST

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A relentlessly high national unemployment rate, erratic and inconsistent job growth and a massive jump in workers actively looking for jobs should give Prime Minister Harper enough reason to extend special EI stimulus measures past tomorrow's cut-off date, said CAW President Ken Lewenza.

"The Harper government is looking for any justification to shut down much-needed government stimulus, including EI enhancements for workers, when all signs suggest it's premature to do so," Lewenza said. 

Responding to this morning's release of monthly job market figures by Statistics Canada, Lewenza said that on the surface the jump in jobs by over 35,000 is positive news for the economy, but there's more to the job numbers that Canadians should be concerned about.

"The bulk of job creation in August was found in the educational services sector, a seasonal trend we've seen before in Canada and hardly a cause for celebration" Lewenza said.
At the same time, Canada's national unemployment rate remained frustratingly high (at 8.1 per cent), the manufacturing sector suffered another massive blow with a decline of nearly 26,000 jobs and part-time job growth continues to double the pace of full-time job growth over the past year.

"Many people are trying to scrape by, piecing together two or more part-time jobs, often arranged through temp agencies which now dominate large swaths of the job market," said Lewenza. "This is a deplorable and extremely exploitative situation for a growing number of Canadians."

Lewenza also expressed concern over the massive jump in Canadians opting to join the labour force in August when there are so few good job options yet available.

"More and more Canadians are falling off of our EI roles because their benefits have expired and they're left with a difficult choice: bad job or poverty."

"We need to take a hard look at what's prompting these workers back into the labour market and shouldn't assume it an indication of a recovery taking hold," Lewenza warned.

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