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The Progressive Economics Forum

Job Market Worsens in January

After five months of  job gains, the job market turned dismal in January. Officially, the unemployment rate fell from 7.1% to 7.0%, the lowest it’s been since December 2008. This is despite a loss of 45,800 jobs (not counting self-employment). The explanation is an out flux of discouraged workers from the labour market, which caused the ‘real’ unemployment rate (R8) to jump from 9.4% to 10.7%.

Gains in self-employment masked the job losses, as there was an increase of nearly 24,000 self-employed persons in January, for an official loss of 22,000, nearly all in full-time positions. Ontario suffered the worst losses in employment and labour market participation, losing 39,000 employees and gaining only 8,000 self-employed persons.  All of Ontario’s job losses were in full-time positions.

As we approach the 2013 Federal budget, we need to push for public investments in infrastructure and training that will lead to good jobs and increased productivity. This is the worst time to be blaming the unemployed for the lack of jobs.  This government talks a lot about jobs and growth, now it’s time to do something about it.

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Comments

Comment from Paul T. (I will not self identify)
Time: February 8, 2013, 11:40 am

three issues that trouble me with this report

1) Manufacturing Employment drops 21k- not good for growth and flies in the face of Phillip Cross’s assessment that things are just fine in manufacturing things are not.

2) self employment – masking more of a drop in employment- this question needs to be seriously redefined- self identifying self-employment is troubling for me- especially when you look at the long term trend of this variable it is a bit of a head scratcher in figuring this one out. Statcans need to re-evaluate how they define this- but it continues to contaminate.

3) Construction up increases 17K- and that is seasonally adjusted- are you kidding me- did anybody step outside this winter and notice how harsh this winter was??? Anybody that knows this survey knows that harshness of winter impacts the seasonal adjustment process. I wonder if we are not somehow free riding off the last few winters that have have been warm and worked their nasty little outlier asses off into reeking havoc on the adjustment process. (will have to check the raw data later) Also folding the housing drops since last fall, I fail to see such pressure for growth in this industry.

But then again, we do have wide wide Standard errors. Maybe we need to rethink monthly releases and start working toward quarterly. Especially given the fact that the census data for 2011 will be more erratic- I wonder what those National Housing response rates truly are?? I think it is time we put together an access to information request and found out.

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