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The Progressive Economics Forum

Job Market Stuck in a Rut

The words “little change” appear eight times in today’s Statistics Canada press release on the Labour Force Survey.

The figures for October are indeed remarkably similar to September. This lack of change might be viewed as welcome stability in better economic times, but it has to be regarded as stagnation given the actual state of Canada’s job market.

Unemployment remained at 1,325,000, exactly the same as in September and well above its pre-recession level.

And that official figure excludes hundreds of thousands of Canadians who have dropped out of the labour market altogether. The participation rate remained 66.4%, its lowest level in more than a decade since February 2002.

The employment rate (the proportion of working-age Canadians with a job) remained 61.8%, far closer to the low point of 61.3% reached in 2009 than to the pre-recession level of over 63%.

UPDATE (Nov. 9): Quoted in today’s Toronto Star (page B2).

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