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Archive for 'recession'

Indigenous Workers in Canada

Labour market data in Canada is easily available by sex, age, and region. We spend a great deal of time talking about these factors. More recently Statistics Canada made labour market data available on CANSIM by landed immigrant status, going back to 2006. This factor is less often included in most labour market analysis, and […]

Rising Homelessness

In 2010, I wrote a blog post in which I suggested that: a) the recession of 2008-2009 would bring on increased homelessness; and b) there would be a lag effect of roughly three to five years.  Indeed, I suggested that it would not be until 2014 until the full effect of the recession is seen […]

IWD 2014: The “girl effect” reduces inequality, but Canada can’t coast on that much longer

Every year when International Women’s Day rolls by, I can’t help but reflect on power, how it’s shared, and how women use the power they have. This year, I am struck by women’s power to reduce inequality, and not just to help ourselves. Women are key to reducing income inequality. It’s been dubbed the girl effect, […]

What happened to the recovery?

(The following is slightly adapted from a short piece on page 3 in the new issue of  Economy at Work, the quarterly publication I produce for CUPE, which also covers a lot of other relevant issues.)   It’s been a little over four years since Canada’s economy bottomed out in mid 2009.  While we didn’t suffer as deep […]

Great Divergence or Financialized recovery ?

The IMF’s latest delivery of the World Economic outlook contains an interesting analysis of the current “non” recovery in terms of a divergence between fiscal and monetary policy, the first between restrictive and procyclical in nature and the second being accommodating and reinforcing a financial expansion. As argued here by the IMF economists who worked […]

State of the BC Economy

As we close out 2012, BC finds itself in some precarious economic waters. To recap, a massive housing bubble that built up through the naughties (2000s) finally burst in 2008, feeding a financial crisis, as extremely loose (some would say fraudulent) lending practices pushed housing prices up to spectacular, never-seen-before levels, and created a plague […]

Incomes Flat in “Recovery Year” of 2010

Today’s Statscan release of income data for 2010 allow for a backward glance at the state of the recovery. What is most striking is that – following two years of flat income growth in 2008 and 2009 – there was no meaningful economic recovery for most Canadians in 2010. Median earnings (half earned more, half […]

The Big Banks’ Big Secret

The CCPA today released my report: “The Big Banks Big Secret” which provides the first public estimates of the emergency funds taken by Canadian banks.  The report bases its estimates on publicly available data from CMHC, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, US Federal Reserve, the Bank of Canada, as well as quarterly […]

BC isn’t broke: putting teacher bargaining in perspective

Last Monday, BC teachers held a Day of Action in communities across the province to protest the BC government’s decision to legislate a contract and put an end to their collective bargaining process. I was invited to speak to teachers at the Surrey rally, where I had the opportunity to share some of my analysis […]

Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy

December marked the three-year anniversary of Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. While I believe there is much to celebrate, much remains to be done. The Strategy surprised a lot of observers, especially in light of the fact that it was announced in December 2008, just as Ontario was entering a recession.  Its focus was almost exclusively […]

No Technical Recession, Not That It Matters

Today’s GDP numbers (a sprightly gain of 0.3% at basic prices in July) ensure that there will not be a so-called “technical recession” in Canada — at least, not yet. Economists have a perverted definition of “recession”, whereby it’s considered official only if real GDP declines 2 quarters in a row.  That’s hilariously arbitrary.  And […]

Gloom and Doom from the IMF

Further to my earlier post on Recession Ahead?, the IMF have today sharply revised down their forecasts of Canadian growth – from 2.9% to 2.1% in 2001, and from 2.6% to 1.9% in 2o12. The downward revisions for Canada compared to June, 2011 are just about the largest for the advanced economies, second only to […]

Falling Real Wages Signal Trouble Ahead

The Labour Force Survey for August showed that average hourly wages were up by just 1.4% from a year earlier, the same low level of increase as was registered in July.  Consumer price inflation was 2.7% in July, a bit down from 3.1% in June and 3.7% in May, but it seems that we have […]

Is Social Assistance a “Poverty Pariah?”

An article in the current edition of NOW Magazine looks at social assistance in Ontario. The article is aptly entitled “Poverty Pariah,” in light of how apparently unpopular Ontario’s welfare system has become over the past 20 years. As can be seen at the National Council of Welfare’s Interactive Welfare Incomes Map, a single adult […]

Incomes in Canada – Booming and Busted

Today’s release of the annual Income in Canada report is Statistics Canada’s first word on the impact of the Great Recession on Canadians’ incomes. The report in The Daily was presented as a non-event, but the data reveal important stories about the winners and losers since the recession. What comes through loud and clear is […]

Incomes and the Recession

Today’s Statscan release “Incomes of Canadians” provides data for 2009 and a partial reading on the impacts of the recession. (I say partial because the 2008 annual average data were impacted by the onset of the recession in the last quarter of the year, and since these impacts continued well into 2010.) The data give […]

NDP’s “Balanced Budget” Platform

Jack Layton unveiled the NDP’s policy platform today.  Among other things, it promises to eliminate the deficit (i.e. balance the federal budget) within four years.  I’m not sure it should. Several years back, I had the opportunity to take a directed reading course from John Smithin.  In addition to being a long-time member of the […]

Full List of 60 Countries That Did Better than Canada

The Conservatives are stressing their supposed credentials as “economic managers” in their strategy to win a majority — combined with fear-mongering about a future coalition (although that latter part of the strategy may be backfiring on them). I’ve argued before that claims about Canada’s superior performance are not factually correct, especially when we correct for […]

Halo Came Off Canadian Recovery as 2010 Drew to a Close

Canada’s recovery from the 2008-09 recession ground to a painful halt during the second half of 2010.  The economy created no net new jobs from the summer onward, economic growth slowed to a crawl, and the nation’s current account deficit reached a record size.  And all of that was while federal-provincial stimulus efforts (said to […]

Labour Market Exodus and Other Unhappy Math

Friday’s labour force survey numbers from Statistics Canada were another nail in the coffin of Canada’s fleeting, fragile economic “recovery.” On first glance, the data seemed to tell a good story: the official unemployment rate tumbled from 7.9% to 7.6% in November.  Immediately, that seemed strange — given that 0nly 15,000 jobs were created for […]

Why the Great Recession Will Go On and On…

The cover of last week’s Economist magazine boasted the headline “Grow, dammit, grow!” above a picture of a bald man looking up at a tiny sprout of hair on his pate. As the Great Recession continues to grind on with no end in sight – with growth remaining anemic and unemployment stubbornly high in North […]

Economy Lab at the Globe and Mail

Here’s my take on Canada’s jobs recovery, written for the Economy Lab. The Economy Lab is a new on-line feature of the on-line business section of the Globe and Mail, part the newspaper’s extensive print and electronic make-over launched on October 1. Editor Rob Gilroy has made it a lively spot. The Daily Mix is […]

A hip hop version of the Keynes vs Hayek debate

Here’s a new take on bringing economic theory to the masses — a rap battle between Keynes and Hayek. What’s amazing about it is the amount of solid (if not plain nerdy) content this video packs into such a short time. It’s fun to watch for sure (very high production values), but you get that […]

We told you so: HST introduction a factor behind GDP drop in July

Among the concerns about the HST that we at the CCPA have raised was the poor timing of the tax change. From my pre-budget piece last September: If British Columbians respond to the HST by reducing their consumer spending, the timing of the HST introduction may actually slow down the economic recovery, which should be […]

Plan B for Obama

Here is a good piece by Tom Palley in the FT Economists Forum on where the Obama Administration should be moving in terms of economic (though I am not holding my breath until the economic team is dumped) http://blogs.ft.com/economistsforum/2010/09/plan-b-for-obama-on-the-economy/#more-11616

Capitalism, Upside Down

Yesterday’s GDP numbers were worse than they seemed.  And they highlighted a curious feature of modern capitalism.  Nowadays, non-financial businesses have become major net lenders to the rest of the economy.  Instead of borrowing money (in various forms: debt, equity, etc.) from other sectors to finance real investment, non-financial businesses are not even reinvesting their […]

Recession Reduces Health Care Utilization

Here’s a fascinating finding from an NBER study: “The Economic Crisis and Medical Care Usage,” by Annamaria Lusardi, Daniel Schneider, and Peter Tufano (NBER study #15843). They undertook a broad public survey across 5 countries (the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, and France) on the economic and social impacts of the recession.  The survey covered over […]

Preparing for Rising Homelessness

I have an op-ed in today’s Toronto Star.  The piece stems largely from a policy paper I wrote on homelessness earlier this year, and that I blogged about here. In today’s op-ed, I argue that homelessness rises after a recession, but that there’s a lag effect.  To be sure, after the recession of the early 1990s, […]

Depressing Protectionism?

The notion that tariffs caused the Great Depression has been repeatedly invoked in opposition to allegedly protectionist policies and to press ahead with deregulatory “free trade” deals. Also, the current collapse of international trade is sometimes cited to suggest a rising tide of protectionism today. Yesterday, Paul Krugman had an excellent post debunking the underlying […]

Recession’s Impact on Homelessness

I recently wrote a paper on the recession’s impact on homelessness, looking at Toronto as a case study.  I presented it on Friday at the Annual Conference of the Canadian Economics Association (May 28-30, Quebec City).  The paper’s title is “Calm Before the Storm,” as I believe that, based on the outcome of the last […]