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The Progressive Economics Forum

Recession Far From Over

Today’s job numbers are a clear sign that, far from entering a recovery, the Canadian economy is still in free-fall.

This was the first month of the third quarter, the quarter in which the Bank of Canada expects positive GDP growth to resume .  But, over the past two months, the number of employees has fallen by 124,000 or one in four of the 513,000 paid jobs lost since last October. If anything, the job market deterioration seems to be accelerating.

While the national unemployment rate remained unchanged in July at 8.6%, this was only because 53,000 workers gave up the fruitless search for jobs and dropped out of the labour force. The participation rate fell sharply, from 67.5% to 67.2%, the largest monthly decline we have seen since the recession began.

We lost another 45,000 jobs in July, but the picture is much worse on closer examination. There were 79,000 fewer workers in paid jobs compared to June, while self-employment rose by 35,000. This was on top of another big jump in self-employment of 37,000 last month.

Put it all together and the picture is of large losses in paid jobs, with the impact on the headline unemployment rate cushioned by workers giving up the search for jobs or turning to self-employment.

Today’s numbers show that the impact of the recession has spread decisively to women. There were 22,000 fewer adult women (aged 25 and over) working in July compared to June, and another 31,000 adult women dropped out of the labour force.

The figures suggest little impact to date from the federal government’s stimulus package. We lost 18,000 construction jobs in July, bringing the total loss in this sector since October to 120,000 or 9.6%.

The unemployment rate for students in July was 20.9%.

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Comment from Salty Crackers
Time: August 8, 2009, 9:20 am

I think the best commentary so far on explaining these serious declining trends, is Philip Cross at Statcan, who was quated in the Globe and Mail as affixing a large proportion of the job declines on his extremely scientific assessment between job losses and the large increase in rain we are experiencing. Apparently Phillip believes that summer staff on the patios of Montreal bars are being laid off and therefore they are the cause of this months declines. I wonder where Phillip has been spending his afternoons?

Can anyone on this site actually believe that Taxpayers pay for that kind of blatant arrogance. How about doing some analysis for once in your life Philip?

Given the dire straights of the economy and huge job losses faced since the beginning of this great recession, this kind of statement is just inexcusable incompetence. I would think that anybody making such a statement (see below) and called themselves Statcan’s Chief economist would take there bow and then resign.

Of course Phillip is too arrogant for that. I think we as progressive economists, should during these extraordinary times, mount a campaign asking for this guy’s resignation.

From the Globe and Mail

But the relentless rain that hovered over Quebec during much of past month shouldn’t be discounted as a key reason behind the fall in employment, said Philip Cross, chief of economic analysis at Statistics Canada.

“With the record rain, who needs waiters for the patio, or travel-related services?” he said.

salty says Phillip has to go!

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