Canadaâ€™s Private Sector Stumbles
My take on todayâ€™s grisly Labour Force Survey follows:
Canadaâ€™s private sector eliminated 95,000 jobs in July. In other words, nearly 1% of Canadian private-sector jobs disappeared in a single month. The creation of 30,000 public-sector jobs and 11,000 self-employed positions offset less than half of this loss.
Although manufacturing accounts for below a fifth of private-sector employment, it accounted for more than a third of private-sector job losses in July. Manufacturing eliminated 32,000 jobs that month. Since November 2002, a total of 375,000 manufacturing jobs have disappeared.
Ontario Hit Particularly Hard
Ontario accounted for most of Canadaâ€™s private-sector job losses, all of Canadaâ€™s public-sector and self-employment gains, and all of Canadaâ€™s manufacturing job losses. Ontarioâ€™s private sector eliminated 76,000 jobs in July, nearly 2% of provincial private-sector employment.
However, the province gained 34,000 public-sector jobs and 23,000 self-employed positions. One must ask whether Ontarians are becoming self-employment voluntarily or due to the disappearance of jobs paid by private-sector employers.
Ontario manufacturers eliminated 41,000 jobs in July. Since November 2002, the province has lost a total of 235,000 manufacturing positions.
The long-anticipated Ramsey Report on “Manufacturing in Ontario” was posted on the provincial governmentâ€™s website without fanfare a week ago. Indeed, the Government of Ontario did not even issue a press release upon receipt of this document. Todayâ€™s Labour Force Survey underscores the need for more government engagement and open debate on the future of manufacturing in Ontario.
Unemployment and Discouraged Workers
The unemployment rate increased among adult men (from 5.3% to 5.4%) and adult women (from 4.6% to 4.8%). The overall unemployment rate declined because 54,000 young workers (ages 15 to 24), as well as 19,000 adult men and 1,000 adult women, dropped out of the workforce. In other words, the demographic groups with the highest unemployment rates (youth followed by adult men) are abandoning the labour market altogether.
UPDATE (August 9): The Toronto Starâ€™s report quotes this post and provides Ontario political reaction.