However the unemployment rate dropped to 7.4% down from 7.6% in January. This seems strange in light of the news but it makes sense because the unemployment rate doesn't count those who dropped out of the workforce who otherwise would be participating had adequate employment opportunities been available.
The unemployment rate nonetheless dropped to 7.4 percent from 7.6 percent in January, largely because 38,000 people dropped out of the workforce, the most since January 2009.This tells us that the official unemployment rate underestimates the real unemployment rate and doesn't reliably gauge the health of the labour market. It is reasonable to assume then that the unemployment rate is actually in double digit territory and it is made worse if we consider the under-employed, contract, part-time, and seasonal workers.
Hardest hit are young Canadians. Officially the unemployment for Canadians aged 15-24 is double the national average of 7.4% and currently sits at 14.7% but since we can reasonably assume this figure underestimates the real rate it's possibly chasing 20%.
The Toronto Star editorialized on the matter in today's issue oblivious to the fact that the pro mass-immigration agenda it promotes in its pages plays a major role in youth employment. It opts instead to shift blame to the government for making cut backs to services that it assumes will undermine the employment prospects of Canada's young. The paper is right to blame the government but for the wrong reason because mass immigration is the problem and if the government should be making cut backs anywhere it is in the number of immigrants this country receives each year.
But a funny thing appeared in yesterday's issue. Two letters to the editor were published in the editorial pages of the Sunday, March 11, 2012 edition that, taken together, pretty much summed up the situation of youth unemployment in Canada better than any editorial.
One letter writer had this to say about a article called "Jobless Gen Y: Young, unemployed and giving up hope":
Struggling to find decent jobs
Re: Jobless Gen Y: Young, unemployed and giving up hope, March 9Thank you for continuing to write stories on the difficulty Gen Y youth are having finding not only meaningful employment, but any employment that will allow them to afford even a sub-modest life and pay off a mountain of debt.
As a 20-something myself, actually approaching 30, with three university degrees (one a Masters), and working for $15 an hour as a receptionist, I can sympathize with these stories.
Besides struggling to pay off loans, a mortgage and car payments, I struggle most with having others place blame on my generation as being lazy, unsatisfied and unrealistic in our job expectations and comparing us to other generations who were able to secure employment in drastically different economic times.
I work full-time, part-time, volunteer and take continuing education courses, leaving me enough time a week only to apply to jobs I never hear a response from and wonder if it's just me who's losing hope.
Thank you again for writing these articles. I would encourage the Star to continue because they do more than you can imagine.
Printed above it was a letter written by Immigration Minister Jason Kenney himself responding to an article that trots out the discredited and oh, so very sleepy, over-exaggerated skills shortage myth "Olive: Skills shortage highlights faulty thinking on immigration." (To digress for a moment I have to say I like David Olive but he gets it so wrong here. I was hoping he would be better educated about the issue but apparently not. He is just as ignorant about the immigration issue as seemingly everyone else who makes a living as a Canadian journalist. It is disappointing to see him unquestionably accept the discredited tropes of the pro mass-immigration argument about the alleged "skills shortage" and to me this smacks of lazy and agenda driven journalism. But fortunately readers take him to school in the comments section.) Kenney write:
Ana Cruceru, Bolton
Immigration levels have increased
Re: Skills shortage highlights faulty thinking on immigration, Column, March 5David Olive's column on immigration includes several factual errors. He writes that “Ottawa has cut the inflow of immigrants from an annual 250,000 to 225,000, trapped by a recession-era mindset that is obsolete.” The opposite is true. The average intake of permanent residents under the previous Liberal government (from 1994 to 2005) was 222,000. Since taking office in 2006, our government has welcomed an average of 254,000 new permanent residents per year, an increase of 14 per cent. This represents the highest sustained level of immigration in Canadian history, and the highest per capita level of immigration in the developed world, adding 0.8 per cent to our population per year.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has repeatedly pointed out that, unlike previous Canadian governments and many other developed countries, we maintained high immigration levels throughout the recession precisely because we understand that one of the greatest challenges facing the Canadian economy is a large and growing labour shortage. For example, in 2010 we welcomed 280,000 newcomers, the highest number in six decades, notwithstanding the global economic downturn. By comparison, the Trudeau government slashed immigration levels from 143,000 to under 90,000 during the recession in the early 1980s, and the Chrétien government cut intake from more than 257,000 to 174,000 in the mid-1990s.
Olive also writes that “Ottawa has slashed its funding of immigrant settlement services for Ontario by $70 million.” Again, the opposite is true. The $70 million has been reallocated to other parts of the country, where immigration levels have increased massively, to ensure fair per capita funding across Canada. But even after that change, we are spending three times more on settlement services in Ontario than the previous government did in 2005, moving from $111 million to $347 million. That's a huge increase, not a cut.
Finally, he says that we “haven't even tried” to tackle the problem of credential recognition. The federal government cannot dictate policies to provincial professional bodies or provinces. But we have done a great deal to address this longstanding challenge, creating the Foreign Credential Referral Office to help immigrants prepare for credential assessment before they leave for Canada; investing $50 million in the development of a national framework for faster and simpler licensing of foreign credentials; and most recently launching microloan programs to help newcomers upgrade their skills and pay for assessment fees.
Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and MulticulturalismThat's Jason Kenney bragging about how he increased immigration levels and kept them high while Canadians were losing their jobs - many of them recent immigrants - as the economy tanked; juxtaposed with a letter written by a young Canadian woman expressing her frustrations at trying to get a foothold and succeed in a discouraging job market where despite her high level of educational attainment a job as a receptionist is so far all that is available to her (and we wonder why immigrants with Phds. are driving cabs).
I don't know if this pairing of letters was intentional or not but the connection is clear, lost only to those whose wilful ignorance on the immigration issue makes them blind to it: high immigration and youth unemployment are related. If unemployment is high among Canada's young it is likely due to them being driven out of the job market by immigrants. Or, if Canada's educated young are having a hard time finding adequate employment, what is the likelihood that immigrants - the majority of whom hail from the developing world - will be more successful? To put it another way, if there are no jobs for Canada's young then there are no jobs for immigrants.
I am old enough to remember a time when fast food restaurants were primarily staffed by teenagers looking to make some cash in a part-time after school job and college kids working to offset their tuition fees. Now these jobs are largely staffed by immigrants undoubtedly using them as a means to obtain permanent residency status so that they can eventually leave it and compete with Canadians in the labour market for jobs Canadians want to do. This is very evident in Toronto and the surrounding area.
What I find remarkable is the high level of acceptance by Canada's young for the immigration system seemingly unaware that the system is undermining their future. This can be blamed on the propaganda they are indoctrinated into accepting in the public education system by a unionised teaching staff that needs immigrants to bring in the children Canadians cannot afford to have so that schools can remain open, teachers can keep their overly generous public sector jobs, and the union can remain strong. Marry this to threats of a public shaming and accusations of racism towards those who criticise the immigration system even in the slightest. But Canada's young need to be more critical of the immigration system if they expect to have any future of value in this country. When the Canadian born and educated children of immigrants have a difficult time find adequate employment hopes should not be high for the next plane loads of would be Canadians.