Canada’s unions encouraged by continued job market recovery but urge parties to stay focused on the long road ahead

August 6, 2021

Canada’s unions are calling on elected leaders to stay focused on running the economy hot, allowing a high-pressure economy to fuel demand for labour and boost wages.

While Statistics Canada’s latest job numbers for July demonstrate another strong month for job gains, achieving pre-pandemic measures of employment and unemployment would only return Canada to the highly unequal, and for many, insecure and precarious job-market that existed on the eve of the pandemic.

“Workers continue to struggle to access good jobs,” said Bea Bruske, president of the Canadian Labour Congress. “It isn’t good enough for laid-off workers to find precarious work. The federal government can help build back better by doubling down on a coordinated agenda to improve job quality. That includes a host of measures from providing affordable child care to strengthening workplace standards and removing barriers for workers who want to organize. Letting the job market heal on its own won’t cut it; now is the time for a good jobs agenda committed to creating a more inclusive and equitable job market.”

In July, the official unemployment rate fell to 7.5%, back to where it was in March. However, the overall unemployment rate among workers from racialized communities remained a much higher 10.2%.

“As the federal parties gear up for an election, it is crucial that those vying for power understand how critical it will be to ensure workers in this country have all the supports required to succeed,” said Bruske. “That means addressing inequality, ensuring decent work, and striving for a more equitable economy. Canada’s unions are going to continue to advocate for workers who must not be left behind in the recovery.”

Canada’s unions will be advancing four critical priorities throughout the upcoming election, including replacing lost jobs with better ones, disaster-proofing our social safety net, strengthening public health care, and tackling climate change and ensuring no worker is left behind.

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