Media Releases Oct 08, 2021

We can’t afford to sweep long-term unemployment numbers under the rug – Canadian Chamber of Commerce


(OTTAWA) – October 8, 2021 – 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.

“It’s important to celebrate the encouraging gains we are seeing in employment numbers over the past month, yet we also cannot afford to sweep under the rug those numbers we know point to a drag on our economic growth – long-term unemployment. Our long-term unemployment numbers are still nearly double what they were pre-pandemic. That means that, in the midst of a mass labour shortage, 27.3% of unemployed Canadians are unaccounted for. Where did they go?

We can speculate all day, but the fact is, we currently have no data to tell us why nearly 400,000 Canadians haven’t been able to rejoin the workforce after 27 weeks or more. Is it a skills issue? Compensation? Life re-evaluation? This is critical information that we need to find out if we are to come up with effective, evidence-based policy solutions. Canadians want to work, most are not unemployed by choice, so we need to dig down and find out exactly what’s holding them back so we can make evidence-based decisions. Our full economic recovery depends on it.”

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:
Emily Walsh
ewalsh@chamber.ca