What Price, Austerity?

PolicyAlternatives.ca – publications/commentary – Hennessy’s Index: A number is never just a number
May 1, 2013. by Trish Hennessy

Hennessy’s Index is a monthly listing of numbers, written by the CCPA’s Trish Hennessy, about Canada and its place in the world. For other months, visit: http://policyalternatives.ca/index

$11.8 billion
Estimated federal government spending cuts by 2014-15, due to the last three austerity budgets. [Source – Numbers in that blog are drawn from the Federal Budget 2013, pg. 298]

90,000
Estimated job losses in both the public and private sector by 2014-15, as a result of a succession of federal government austerity budget decisions. [Source]

3.2%
Canada’s GDP growth in 2010, when government spending contributed 1.1 per cent of total GDP. Thanks to public spending cuts under austerity, Canada’s GDP growth slackened to 2.6 per cent in 2011 and 1.8 per cent in 2012. [Source 1 , Source 2: CANSIM 380-0100]

-0.1%
Government’s contribution to average annual real GDP growth in Canada in 2012, according to Statistics Canada. It was consumer spending, at 1.3 per cent, which had the biggest impact on GDP growth. [Source: CANSIM 380-0100]

0.84%
Estimated reduction of Canada’s real GDP by 2014-15, as a result of the fiscal drag created by austerity budgets at the federal level. [Source – Numbers in that blog are drawn from the Federal Budget 2013, pg. 298]

1.5%
Predicted GDP growth for Canada in 2013, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). “Finance ministers ‘have room’ to allow programs such as employment insurance and welfare to work to their full potential, the IMF said.” Source 1, 2]

1.4 million
Number of unemployed workers in Canada, almost six for every unfilled job in the country. [Source]

20.2
Average number of weeks that Canadians who were unemployed remained jobless in 2012, the second worst rate since 1999. [Source]

60
Percentage of new jobs since the bottom of the recession that have been temporary rather than permanent. [Source]

338,000
Number of temporary foreign workers in Canada at the end of 2012. “Canada’s temporary work force is almost as large as New Brunswick’s entire employed labour force.” [Source]

0.3
Percentage increase in real average hourly wages for all workers in Canada between 2009 and 2012. That’s only a 20-cent increase. In fact median average incomes have fallen, “indicating that any wage growth is limited to the few at the top end.” [Source]

$23.1 billion
Amount TD Economics estimates will be lost in wages over the next 18 years as a result of youth unemployment in Canada, which spiked during the recession and remains double the overall unemployment rate. Source 1, 2]

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