Labour expert points out disturbing economic trend

With retailers gearing up for the holiday shopping season, work is available for job seekers. But a lot of the jobs are of the part-time or temporary variety.

Gil McGowan, President of the Alberta Federation of Labour, tells 660News it's a sign of a bigger problem.

"As it stands right now, even in a wealthy province like Alberta, we're pushing like a third of our work force that's working part-time or temporary," says McGowan. "Which is a big change from say 20 years ago when there was a much higher proportion of full-time or permanent" (work).

"This is a troubling trend because not surprisingly part-time workers earn less, have less security," McGowan continues. "They" (part-time, temporary workers) "have less money to spend in the economy. They find it harder to buy houses and stuff like that. All these things keep the economy going. So if more and more people are working part-time and temporary, that has broader implications beyond the individual."

As a result of the hiring practices of some employers, McGowan argues that employers only have themselves to blame for the type of employee available on the job market.

"They complain about having a hard time finding people and workers won't come, they won't apply, they're not loyal," he adds. "But on the other hand, they're not offering full-time jobs. And it is cheaper and easier for companies to have temporary and part-time workers. But there's a price with that."

McGowan says that price is a hit to the overall economy, since part-time and temporary workers have less spending power and security.

i660News, Sat Oct 22 2011

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