Unemployment rate puts pressure on federal government just ahead of budget

HAMILTON, Mar. 11, 2016- The rise in Canada's unemployment rate to 7.3 per cent puts pressure on the federal government to create jobs, says Marvin Ryder, an assistant professor at McMaster's DeGroote School of Business.

Statistics Canada released the February jobs report today.

"The new Federal Budget is 11 days away and this data puts even more pressure on Finance Minister Bill Morneau to address job creation in his budget," Ryder says. "More people in Canada are looking for work. This is a combination of younger people entering the workforce and older workers who gave up looking for work during the Christmas and New Year periods re-energizing their job searches."

Ryder says the report shows two forces at play.

"The first is about total jobs. Canada lost 2,300 jobs in February. That's a rather small number on its own, and could correctly be interpreted as a 'stand pat' result. That said, behind that number there was a loss of 52,000 full-time jobs and a gain of 49,500 part-time jobs. This shift is worrisome.

"The second force at play is the unemployment rate. It rose to 7.3 per cent - the highest level in nearly three years. If the economy 'stood pat' in terms of job creation/job loss, how did the unemployment rate grow?"

To arrange an interview with Marvin Ryder, please contact him at ryderm@mcmaster.ca or 905-525-9140 ext. 23997.

-30-

For more information, or to arrange a TV interview from the campus studio, please contact:

Michelle Donovan                                          

Public Relations Manager             

Office of Public Relations

McMaster University                                               

905-525-9140 ext. 22869

donovam@mcmaster.ca

Wade Hemsworth                                          

Public Relations Manager            

Office of Public Relations

McMaster University                                               

905-525-9140 ext. 27988

hemswor@mcmaster.ca