Statistics Canada reported a loss of 39,000 jobs in July, even as Canada’s working-age population grew by 39,000. As a result, unemployment rose and many Canadians withdrew from the labour market altogether.
The decline reflected a loss of 74,000 public-sector jobs, which was only partly offset by modest growth in private-sector employment and self-employment. There have been some doubts about erratic employment changes in educational services reported by the Labour Force Survey during summer months. However, July’s public-sector plummet was driven more by healthcare, social assistance and public administration than by educational services.
One month does not make a trend, but an obvious question is to what extent July’s Labour Force Survey reflects government cutbacks. Austerity has clearly had a negative effect on employment prospects, but did it take such a large bite out of Canada’s job market in a single month?
UPDATE (August 13): I was interviewed on CBC Toronto’s Metro Morning yesterday about why Canadian unemployment is worse than the official rate of 7.2%. The supplementary measures of unemployment that I mentioned are available on Statistics Canada’s website.
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- Ten Things to Know About Homelessness in Canada (September 17th, 2015)
- Dix Choses à Savoir sur l’Itinérance au Canada (September 17th, 2015)
- Canada: World’s Next Superpower? Only If We Stop Relying On Temporary Foreign Workers (July 7th, 2015)