A Part-Time, Do-It-Yourself Job Market

Statistics Canada reported that employment grew by 22,000 in November. But 20,000 of those new jobs were part-time. The proportion of all Canadian jobs that are part-time rose to an even 19%.

Broken down another way, 19,000 of the employment increase were people reporting themselves as self-employed. Canadian employers actually hired fewer than 3,000 additional employees last month.

Part-time work and self-reported self-employment kept the official unemployment rate just under 7% for a third consecutive month, but hardly suggest a vibrant job market.

The longer-term trend is still that Canadian employers are creating barely enough jobs to keep pace with population growth. Tellingly, the employment rate – the proportion of working-age Canadians who are employed – is lower today than a year ago.

The federal government should use the unspent billions in its budget to accelerate job-creating investments in public infrastructure and to improve Employment Insurance for the 1.3 million Canadians who remain unemployed.

Erin Weir is an economist with the United Steelworkers union and a CCPA research associate.

UPDATE (Dec. 7): Quoted in today’s Nanaimo Daily News (A9), Okanagan Saturday (C6), Waterloo Region Record (C1), New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal (A1), Fredericton Daily Gleaner (D1), Truro Daily News (A16) and Cape Breton Post (B5) via Canadian Press as well as in today’s Regina Leader-Post (B1) and Saskatoon StarPhoenix (C1).

One comment

  1. In 2013 I agreed to become an employee rather than a contract worker. It would appear as if a “new part-time job” had been created but indeed I am doing the same job. I now get to pay EI, CCP etc through pay roll. I continue to be self-employed for the rest of my work. So I question the statistics that “employment grew” as it may simply have been renamed for a percentage of those figures. I know of others who found that HST for self employment is so cumbersome and costly that they are doing the same work but have switched from contract to employment status.

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Before commenting, please read our Comment Policy