Posted: Thursday, 7 April 2011
This is the fifth in a series of analytical reports from the Social and Economic Policy Department of the Canadian Labour Congress looking at the impacts of the global economic crisis on the jobs, wages, and economic security of working Canadians.
1. Introduction: from boom, to bust, to what?
This issue of Recession Watch takes a detailed look at some key changes in the job market which took place between October 2008, July 2009, and February 2011. (1) These dates represent the peak and the bottom of the jobs crisis in Canada, and help portray the evolution of the job market since the Great Recession began.
The Canadian economy plunged into a deep recession in October 2008 when the national unemployment rate was 6.2%. The recession bottomed out in the summer months of 2009 when the national unemployment rate peaked at 8.7% (August). As of February 2011, the national unemployment rate had fallen back to just below 8% (7.8%). In the recent federal budget tabled in March, the Department of Finance expects little further improvement over the next couple of years, keeping the unemployment rate equal to or above 7% until 2014.
As of February 2011, the total absolute number of employed Canadians had returned to the pre recession level (up 54,500). However, the labour force had grown by almost 2% over those two years. It was the growth in the labour force, mainly coming from the entry of young people and immigrants, which has kept the unemployment rate high, even as there was some growth in employment.
Read the full publication here
(1) Unless otherwise indicated, the data are seasonally adjusted numbers from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey. Some data are not seasonally adjusted, but comparisons for the same month of different years indicate a real change.