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Manufacturing job stats stable in May


June 8, 2010
by PLANT STAFF

The CAW reports only 24% of those who lost jobs just prior to the beginning of the recession have found work, but only 30% of those jobs were full time.

Photo: Chrysler

TORONTO: Most recession employment in manufacturing appears to at least be stable according to the latest Statistics Canada labour report, and Manpower is forecasting a modest to positive hiring outlook for the coming quarter, but the Canadian Auto Workers union says there’s more to the Canadian job numbers than meets the eye.

Labour stats for May from Statistics Canada show jobs increased from April by 25,000, the fifth consecutive gain, while unemployment was unchanged at 8.1 per cent.
However, the growth came from sectors other than manufacturing, which increased just 0.2 per cent. And the number of manufacturing jobs is down 29,000 from a year ago, a drop of 1.6 per cent.

Manpower Canada, a staffing services firm based in Toronto, reports a positive hiring climate in the coming quarter, according to responses from 1,900 employers across several industry sectors to its employment outlook survey, released Tuesday. Twenty-two per cent plan to increase their payrolls, 69% will maintain current staff levels and 6% anticipate cutbacks.

Manpower says the 10% net employment outlook means employers anticipate a positive hiring climate, up 3% from the previous quarter and up 11% from the same time last year. Mining (19%) and construction (15%) report the most favourable results. Manufacturers of durable goods anticipate a positive climate with a net outlook of 12%, an 8% improvement from the previous quarter. Manufacturers of non-durable goods have more modest expectations with a 5% outlook, the same as the previous quarter.

But a new study conducted by McMaster University for the CAW that tracked a random sample of laid off workers in Kitchener, Brampton and Toronto, Ont. adds some perspective to the national job numbers and the kind of employment workers are finding.

The study shows that of the respondents, many of whom lost jobs just months prior to the official beginning of the recession, only 24% had found employment at the time of the survey, and 70% of those jobs were part time, temporary, or more precarious forms of work. Just 39% of them found new jobs in manufacturing. Here are some other findings:

• When workers get adequate income and tuition support they take advantage of retraining opportunities after job loss. Otherwise, the financial obstacles are too great. Ninety per cent of the respondents who enrolled for upgrading or retraining identified the level of income support and the cost of tuition as the most important factors enabling enrolment.

• Workers report high levels of satisfaction with the unique services including job search, retraining, financial, personal and social needs, provided by action centres and peer helpers.

The study says more targeted supports are needed to address the multiple obstacles faced by laid off workers who are older, women, immigrants or who lack strong literacy skills.

Click here for a copy of CAW Worker Adjustment Tracking Project: Preliminary Findings.
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