Media Releases Dec 04, 2020

Jobs stall as GDP slips: potentially facing long, cold economic winter, says Canadian Chamber of Commerce


(OTTAWA) – December 4, 2020 – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Senior Director of Workforce Strategies and Inclusive Growth, Leah Nord, issued the following statement regarding today’s Labour Force Survey numbers.

“Today’s stall in labour force numbers reflects Canada’s slowing GDP and tightening restrictions on economic activity in several parts of the country. We believe the short-lived partial rebound in jobs may be turning an unfortunate corner, heading into a potentially protracted second wave.

As we look forward, we believe there is increasing risk for a steady decline in employment over the coming months as governments and health authorities grapple with transmission mitigation.

The return to job growth will require a clear, coherent plan to proactively manage COVID-19 instead of simply responding to it, which leads to businesses being forced to close and entrepreneurs losing their livelihoods. Canada simply must do better with testing and tracing, and make much broader use of rapid testing to ensure businesses stay open and Canadians remain employed.

Many questions remain about the government’s economic recovery plan. Canadians and the businesses that employ them need an economic strategy with a clear fiscal anchor to help us move from subsidies to a private sector-led recovery where both individuals and their employers can be self-sufficient again.

Recent data in the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions from Statistics Canada continue to show that the hardest hit sectors like hospitality and entertainment continue to layoff workers at twice the rate of the national average. The uneven nature of the recovery, the so called K-shape, will continue to be a burden on Canada’s long term recovery prospects.

At the same time, women continue to be hard hit by the pandemic. The rate at which women are leaving the workforce, in large part due to domestic burdens, continues to undermine Canada’s economic recovery and requires emergency funding. The wage subsidy program or tax policies are two levers the government can use to provide immediate relief.

If today’s numbers are the harbinger of a status quo trend, the choices we make today matter. Canadians need a plan to get us from today’s hardship to economic recovery and growth. Until Canada has such a plan, we risk a long, cold economic winter.”

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
ptaylor@chamber.ca