Representatives from the Norwich CIBC bank discuss job opportunities with interested visitors at the Norwich Career and Business Expo at the Norwich Community Centre on Thursday, November 17.
Credits: SABRINA BURRELL/NORWICH GAZETTE/QMI AGENCY
Statistics Canada's monthly job numbers show employment in the finance, insurance and real estate sector is down 14% in November from one year previously.
And since June 2010 - the month before the Liberal government dropped its corporate income tax rate from 14$ to 12$ (a further reduction this July took it to 11.5) - jobs in just finance and insurance have fallen by about 9,000.
There were 304,663 jobs in the sector that June - the post-recession peak - but by September of this year that number had dropped to 295,864.
New Democratic Party Leader Andrea Horwath said that's evidence corporate tax cuts aren't working for Ontario.
"We've seen the last couple of years a bit of a trend - as we've been giving these rather generous tax cuts - across the board cuts - that are benefitting the banks, the banks are raking in massive profits in every single quarter.
"And yet they're shedding jobs."
Two of the country's biggest banks reported big profits earlier this week.
Toronto-Dominion Bank said its fourth quarter turned a $1.57 billion profit, up 59% over the previous year.
CIBC also had a good quarter and a good year - with 2011 turning a profit of $3.1 billion, $600 million more than 2010.
"It's once again clear that across the board corporate tax cuts as a way to create jobs is an utter failure," Horwath said.
The news came one day after Finance Minister Dwight Duncan dismissed Horwath's assertion bank jobs are dwindling while bank profits grow.
"That is frankly inaccurate," Duncan said.
"If you look at the last five years and even through the downturn, the banks and other large financial services sector have increased employment.
"We think it's a strong and growing sector and we want to make sure we remain competitive on the tax basis and that they choose to continue to do business here on Ontario and pay corporate taxes here in Ontario."
Stats Can data supports Duncan's statement that the financial sector has added jobs since 2006.
But the trend has been downward almost from the moment the tax cuts kicked in on July 1, 2010.