“The basement has gotten a little more crowded.”
These were the words of Emanuella Enenajor, an economist with the Bank of America, while describing the state of youth unemployment in the country. In a few words, Emanuella paints a picture that, though bleak, reaches the heart of the economic condition created by the Trudeau-led Liberal government.
The July unemployment statistics released by Statistics Canada last week, was an indication of how bad things were. As the haze surrounding the raw numbers has reduced somewhat and analyses by experts continue to pour in, it is increasingly becoming evident that the situation could not have been worse.
What the numbers say
Before we move on to some of the causes of unemployment and what the experts have to say, let us have a brief look at what the unemployment statistics actually are.
In the month of July alone, the number of jobs lost in Canada reached a staggering 31,200. This is the biggest one-month drop in full-time jobs in around five years. The national unemployment rate, which had dropped 0.1 percent in June, reached 6.9 percent in the month of July.
The youth were particularly affected. They lost 28,000 jobs in a single month.
This isn’t just a one-time occurrence though. Since the Liberal government took over last year, employment figures have been thoroughly disappointing. For instance, let’s consider the job growth rate under the liberal government.
Since January this year, employers in Canada have managed to create just 12,400 positions in total. If we plot the monthly job-creation figures and compare the overall data to previous decades, we would see that 2016 has seen the weakest trends in job creation since the Great Recession.
Experts may have their own conflicting opinions on some of the best ways to increase employment, but they all agree on one thing. Job growth does not look impressive at the moment. It has “slowed to near post-crisis lows,” according to the chief economist at HSBC Bank Canada, David Watt.
While we can, and should, spend the most of our time analyzing the meaning behind the statistics, it’s equally important to determine who, if anyone, is responsible for this economic mess. And seeing what some of the prominent commentators are saying, all fingers lead to the same direction – the national government.
When Justin Trudeau ran for the 2015 elections, the Liberal platform promised that it would make much-needed changes in the tax system to help the middle class, provide parents with the ability to ensure better child care, and spend on infrastructure to boost the economy.
None of those promises are even close to being an achievable reality.
The opposition lashes out
Some of the most outspoken critics of Trudeau’s failed economic policies are members of his political opposition. Many of the opposition parties have expressed their anger over the way Trudeau’s Liberal government is not living up to its campaign promises.
Among those critics is the Conservative politician Lisa Raitt. According to her, “Canadians have no reason to trust the Liberal government when it comes to Canada’s economy.”
Whether this unemployment crisis is the beginning of the end for Trudeau’s government still remains to be seen.