TORONTO – Ontario’s Liberal government was pleased Friday with the high number of jobs created in November, but remained concerned about the “stubbornly high” unemployment rate of nearly eight per cent.
Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid said he wasn’t worried that nearly three-quarters of the 32,000 new jobs created in Ontario last month were part-time positions.
“Sometimes it’s more full-time jobs, sometimes it’s more part-time, but at the end of the day it’s the second highest increase we’ve seen in jobs in 12 months,” he said.
“That’s good news. It tells me that we’re on the right track.”
Ontario is leading the country in job creation with 378,100 net new jobs created since the 2009 recession, but the unemployment rate of 7.9 per cent is too high, despite a drop of 0.4 of a point last month, said Duguid.
“The unemployment rate has remained stubbornly high,” he said.
“We’re not satisfied with that. We want to see that unemployment rate come down as much as it possibly can.”
The New Democrats said thousands of people are desperate to land a job, but warned people cannot survive on part-time wages.
“You can’t feed a family or pay for daycare with those jobs,” said NDP economic development critic Catherine Fife.
“In communities like Waterloo, 5,000 applications came in for 170 jobs at Wal-Mart, so every community is hurting.”
The NDP called on the Liberal government to abandon corporate tax cuts and instead tie incentives to job creation.
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said the unemployment rate dropped .04 per cent last month.