The Canadian economy created an abundance of high-paying, high-quality jobs last year to offset the loss in the battered manufacturing sector, says a new study by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. The bank said yesterday the economy created an impressive 400,000 new jobs last year and “the vast majority of them were in high-paying sectors.”
This is in contrast to the bad news coming out of the manufacturing sector, which shed about 130,000 jobs in 2007, and in contrast to what is happening in the U.S.
The bank said its employment quality index, which combines part-time and full-time jobs, as well as self-employment, rose by 2.8 per cent last year — the largest increase since 1999 —whereas it dropped 1.9 per cent in the U.S.
“It seems that in Canada the loss of manufacturing jobs is being offset by job gains in sectors with equivalent and higher employment quality,” said the bank.
“That’s not the case in the U.S., where the jobs now being lost in sectors such as construction/real estate and manufacturing are being replaced by lower quality jobs.”
The credit for making up the losses in manufacturing goes mostly to a 3.6 per cent increase in the number of full-time employees in high-paying sectors such as oil and gas extraction, the public service and computer services.
As would be expected, Alberta and Saskatchewan led the way in job gains in the energy industries, where earnings run 50 to 125 per cent higher than the industrial average. Meanwhile, jobs in low-paying industries such as general merchandise stores, textiles and furniture-making dropped 1.2 per cent.