Canadian Chamber says jobs numbers positive, but focus on economic policies needed to spur true job growth

(OTTAWA) – August 7, 2020 – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Senior Director of Workforce Strategies and Inclusive Growth, Leah Nord, issued the following statement today regarding the Labour Force Survey numbers.

Today’s positive job growth across the country and sectors continues the three month trend of an economy that is slowly reopening. This initial return to work is promising, but today’s numbers demonstrate that momentum is slowing and that we have an extended recovery period ahead of us.

By way of example, StatsCan noted that “the continued easing of COVID-19 restrictions allowed Canadians to return to restaurants and outdoor patios, employment rose by 101,000 (+12.3%) in accommodation and food services, the third consecutive monthly increase. Despite these gains, employment in the industry was only 74.9% of its February level.” That’s the lowest employment level out of any sector, and economists agree they will be hardest hit for the longest period. Canada needs a plan to address the long road back for these employees and businesses.

Notably, for the first time, StatsCan has integrated mechanisms to track labour data vis-à-vis visible minorities.  Although it does not allow for historical comparison before July 2020, it provides a baseline for going forward that can help inform data-driven results to ensure an inclusive recovery.

The importance of getting Canadians back to work cannot be understated during this period. Policies that focus on economic and labour force fundamentals will play a pivotal role in helping the country recover from the devastating impacts of COVID-19.

Chief among them will be a careful transition away from support programs to growth-oriented policies, including reformed Employment Insurance mechanisms that focus on re-skilling and upskilling Canadians.

Canadian businesses are job creators, and they are looking for policies that not only help them recover, but also policies that enable them to grow in a difficult circumstance. That starts with getting Canadian back to work.”

About the Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Because Business Matters

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce helps build the businesses that support our families, our communities and our country. We do this by influencing government policy, by providing essential business services and by connecting businesses to information they can use, to opportunities for growth and to a network of local chambers, businesses, decision-makers and peers from across the country, in every sector of the economy and at all levels of government, as well as internationally. We are unapologetic in our support for business and the vital role it plays in building and sustaining our great nation.

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For more information, please contact:

Phil Taylor
[email protected]