Labour leader in Calgary today to talk to Alberta manufacturing workers, one of the groups hardest hit by recession
Please note that, due to weather conditions in Alberta today, Gil McGowan is not able to attend the USW meeting in Calgary. He is available for comment at 780-218-9888.
CALGARY - But before anyone starts popping champagne corks to celebrate the end of the recession, Alberta's largest labour organization would like them to consider the following facts about the Alberta's labour market.
- It's true that according to the Statistics Canada survey 13,000 jobs were created in Alberta in November. But 12,600 of those jobs were part-time.
- Alberta's population has grown by 73,000 since November of 2008 - and the pool of available workers (the provincial labour force) has grown by 33,000. But the number of people who actually have jobs has gone down by 52,000.
- Even worse, the number of Albertans with full-time jobs has dropped by 75,600 since November 2009 (and by 83,000 since the peak of employment in October 2008). The only reason that overall employment is down by "only" 52,000 is because we have 24,000 more part-time jobs today than we did last year at this time.
- As a result of these troubling trends, there are 85,000 more officially unemployed people in Alberta today than there was one year ago. In other words, both the unemployment rate and the absolute number of unemployed people have more than doubled over the last year. No other province has seen such a dramatic spike in unemployment in such a short time.
- The unemployment rate in some Alberta communities hardest hit by the recession, most notably the Red Deer and Grande Prairie areas, has more than tripled since last year.
"If this is what a recovery looks like, then I'd really hate to see a recession," says Alberta Federation of Labour president Gil McGowan. "Economists and pundits may claim that the recession is over. But here in Alberta, the facts on the ground tell a different story. Working people and working families are still hurting."
"The really perverse part of the story is that the Stelmach government's response to the jobs crisis seems to be a plan to thrown thousands of additional people out of their jobs with deep cuts to public services. Given the current jobless numbers, why on earth would the government attack the one sector that's still generating stable employment?"
McGowan will be in Calgary today to speak to a western regional meeting of the United Steel Workers union (USW). The Steelworkers represent tens of thousands of workers in the manufacturing sector - which is the sector of the Alberta economy that has experienced the largest number of lay-offs since the beginning of the recession.
The USW meeting is being held at the Glenmore Inn (Foothills Room) which is located at 2720 Glenmore Trail S.E., Calgary. McGowan is scheduled to speak at 11 a.m. and will be available to answer questions from reporters afterward. A number of Alberta manufacturing workers from workplaces that have been hit hard with lay-offs will also be on hand.
For more information call: Gil McGowan, AFL President @ (780) 218-9888