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(OTTAWA) – June 5, 2020 – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Chief Economist and Vice President of Policy, Dr. Trevin Stratton, issued the following statement about today’s Labour Force Survey figures:

“It is indeed a strange time when we react favorably to slowing job losses that by any standard measure would be catastrophic. Today’s figures (290,000 jobs gained, but 13.7% unemployment) are both terrible and positive at the same time. They are the Schrodinger’s cat of job markets, and we shouldn’t read too much into what we already know.

We are still in an unprecedented economic downturn, but the unemployment rate is slowing. Canada avoided the worst-case economic scenario and the economic impact on the global economy has peaked, according to the Bank of Canada’s latest outlook.

There is still a high level of uncertainty about how recovery will unfold. We will have to continue supporting individual Canadians and businesses so they can make it through the current economic turmoil, but we must also start planning to transition to a national stimulus strategy for recovery to get Canadians back to work as our economy re-opens.

The more instructive value of future Labour Force Surveys will be found in how and when workers return in regions at various stages of re-opening. Correlating this regional data, by sector, against the stages of opening across the country will provide us with more insight into how the country as a whole will emerge from its economic shutdown.

Getting Canadians back to work will be a critical first stage in our economic recovery. That’s why governments need to work together to develop and support business-led labour market strategies tailored to communities by using local labour market information and real-time data.

At the same time, we need a comprehensive review of Employment Insurance programs to identify the reforms required to respond to current and future workforce needs. Ensuring Canadians remain connected to the labour force and including a strong upskilling/reskilling training component.

We have a long road ahead of us. First steps can often set the tone. Let’s get this re-opening right.”

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:

Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Phil Taylor at ptaylor@chamber.ca