Quebec: 90% of new jobs created in 2011 occupied by migrant workers

Quebec: 90% of new jobs created in 2011 occupied by migrant workers

An erroneous claim, according to an economist is at the fault of the Conservative government.

Most jobs in the Canadian economy have been occupied by migrant workers says the Congrès du travail du Canada (CTC) on the basis of a calculation does not have unanimity.

“About 75% of jobs created in Canada in 2010 and 2011 were given to international migrant workers, although 1.4 million Canadian residents were unemployed,” said Ken Georgetti, the president of the fédération syndicale, on Friday while revealing the numbers.

Based on official statistics, the paper on which these statements are based including a table from 2008 to 2011, net job creation (jobs – jobs destroyed), the number of temporary foreign workers arrived in the country each year, their total in the territory versus the total number of unemployed. It can be seen, among other things, that a total of 500,600 net jobs were created from 2008 to 2011 while the total temporary foreign workers increased from December 1st from 249 600 to 300 200. In 2011 alone, 265,200 jobs were created, and 190,842 temporary foreign workers entered the country.

“In Quebec, 90% of net new jobs created in 2011 were occupied by migrant workers,” says the CTC, due to a net creation of 38,500 jobs and the entry of 34,400 workers Temporary Foreign this year. It recalls that almost 120,000 net new jobs were created in Quebec from 2008 to 2011 while the total amount of migrant foreign workers has increased from 25,900 to 39,700.

Employers and the federal government have tried to deny what is currently occuring, but with the calculations, and the trends are clear. In most provinces, migrant labour has accounted for more than 50% of net new jobs during the period from 2008 to 2012. “We believe that employers and the federal government rely on vulnerable migrant workers to drive down wages in Canada.”

“Stupid”

“All this is nonsense,” protested Mac Van Audenrode, a specialist in labour economics , professor at the University of Sherbrooke and associate director at the U.S. consulting firm Analysis Group for economics and finance. You cannot compare the number (the number of temporary workers) and change (net job creation), let alone assume that one is necessarily going occupy others. “It is as stupid as the affirmation of the federal government which says that there are 200,000 vacant jobs and a million unemployed in the country, yet they continue to claim that a tightening of the rules of employment insurance will help fill the vacant positions!”

In fact, in economies like Canada – where there are 17.6 million jobs – and Quebec – where there are 4 million jobs – between 10% and 15% of all jobs are destroyed and replaced by others every year, says the economist. “People are retiring and not being replaced, businesses fail, but other companies are established or are expanding … This is a much more complex and shifting phenomenon that is implied by the debate current.”

An extremely sensitive issue

The debate on the program for temporary foreign workers has grown, last month, when it was discovered that the Royal Bank made use of foreign workers to replace Canadians. The Harper government has promised a tightening of its rules in this area especially stopping accelerated processing of requests from employers and the provision that allowed them to pay foreign workers a salary up to 15% below the norm in the country.

CTC has defended its position to make war on their stance on foreign workers. “Canada has always been a land of immigrants, and must remain,” repeated its chief economist, Sylvain Schetagne. There is a difference between a foreigner who wants to come and live in Canada and one that is here temporarily and is quickly returned to his country at the whim of employers.

“The temporary worker is in a vulnerable situation which does not allow him to defend himself, which has, therefore, a downward pressure on working conditions for all Canadians,” he said. The reforms proposed by the Harper government do not go far enough to change anything.

Marc Van Audenrode said he thinks that it is important that foreign workers enjoy the same working conditions as Canadians. He thinks it is also important that this debate takes place in a serene and most intelligent manner, especially in economies such as Canada and Quebec where immigration will necessarily be part of the solution to their labour shortage problem.

“This is a very sensitive issue. For many years, the slogan of the National Front in France was: there are 1 million unemployed and 1 million migrant workers. They did not reveal the conclusion to people, but it was nevertheless clear. “Canada is fortunately not in the same place, but the debate is nonetheless important, he says, “The Conservative government is a bit at fault as well as how he had to start discussions on employment insurance and foreign workers. In the future he will have to be much more careful.”
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LifeinQuebec.com Staff Writer

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