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Where have all the full-time jobs gone? And what does it mean for our economy?

Statistics Canada released its employment figures for July today and the news wasn’t good.  Approximately 139,000 full-time jobs disappeared (including the slashing of jobs in the education, finance, insurance, real estate and leasing categories).  Granted, 130,000 part-time jobs were added during this same time period.  But we all know you cannot equate part-time jobs with full-time employment.  Many of those part-time jobs are most certainly student-held positions that will, come September, vanish again.

And many part-time workers who are not students need to hold down two or more part-time jobs just to equal the income levels they would earn if they had only one full-time job. Not to mention  the emotional stress such work-loads place on many households across the country.

So are we turning into a nation of part-time jobs and contract positions?   Only time will tell but it sure looks like the full-time job (complete with health and wage benefits and other perks) is quickly becoming a rarity in Canada, as it has in the United States.

And with our labour market shrinking as well (due to older workers retiring and not enough younger workers entering the work force), our ability to compete in world markets could be affected.  Already we’ve seen a slight increase in interest rates by the Bank of Canada, and a drop in the value of our dollar against the American greenback.   According to Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney, our annual growth rate slowed from the 6.1-percent rate during the first three months of 2010 to an anemic 2.8-percent pace in the current quarter.

All of this means less money coming into Canadian households, more corporate failures and more financial uncertainty, after two years of an already-fragile global economy.

Once again I urge everyone to pay down their credit card and loan debts and try to put some savings away in a TFSA or RRSP as an emergency back-up for any potential job loss or household income drop.

Times continue to be tough and there is not necessarily a simple solution to our economic uncertainty this year… and possibly next year as well.