Lawrence Solomon: Ontario’s unemployment rate could reach 10%

(March 1, 2011) Energy Probe executive director Lawrence Solomon on how Ontario’s green jobs plan could kill 185,000 jobs.

The Ontario government has one of the world’s most aggressive green job-creating programs, with plans underway to create 50,000 new green jobs in the province.  Based on the latest evidence from another aggressive green-job creating jurisdiction – the United Kingdom, where every green job created leads to the loss of 3.7 jobs elsewhere in the economy — if Ontario meets its green job target, a potential 185,000 jobs could be lost. Green jobs thus threaten to be a potential major driver of provincial unemployment.

The UK findings, produced by Verso Economics, a consultancy with UK governments as clients, follows studies of Spain, Denmark, Germany and the EU that also point to negative job creation from renewables projects. The chief driver of UK unemployment, Verso found, is the job loss caused by high electricity prices. Like the UK, the Ontario economy faces rapidly escalating power rates due to uneconomic green technologies.

Ontario’s unemployment rate is currently 8.1%. The addition of 50,000 green jobs, and loss of 185,000 jobs, would boost the provincial unemployment rate to 10%.

The Verso study’s executive summary can be found here.

LawrenceSolomon@nextcity.com
Lawrence Solomon is executive director of
Energy Probe and the author of The Deniers.

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About Lawrence Solomon

Lawrence Solomon is one of Canada's leading environmentalists. His book, The Conserver Solution (Doubleday) popularized the Conserver Society concept in the late 1970s and became the manual for those interested in incorporating environmental factors into economic life. An advisor to President Jimmy Carter's Task Force on the Global Environment (the Global 2000 Report) in the late 1970's, he has since been at the forefront of movements to reform foreign aid, stop nuclear power expansion and adopt toll roads. Mr. Solomon is a founder and managing director of Energy Probe Research Foundation and the executive director of its Energy Probe and Urban Renaissance Institute divisions. He has been a columnist for The Globe and Mail, a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, the editor and publisher of the award-winning The Next City magazine, and the author or co-author of seven books, most recently The Deniers, a #1 environmental best-seller in both Canada and the U.S. .
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