More Jobs, Limited Paycheques

November’s 79,000 increase in employment combines a 32,000 decrease in self-employment with 111,000 additional positions paid by employers. This job creation is significant and welcome.

But there is still no indication of a sustained labour-market recovery. Today’s numbers may just continue the recent seesaw pattern in which employment is up one month and down the next.

Because Canada’s labour force also grew in November, impressive job growth barely dented unemployment. The number of officially unemployed workers declined by only 13,000. Although unemployment remained around 1.6 million, the unemployment rate edged down because this figure was divided by a larger total labour force.

Work-Time Spread

Another important caveat is that a majority of the new employment was part-time as opposed to full-time. Indeed, for young workers (age 15 to 24) and adult men (age 25+), all of the new jobs were part-time.

This shift toward part-time employment was reflected by a decrease in the total number of hours worked. In October, Canadians worked a combined total of 544.8 million hours per week. In November, this figure sagged to 543.5 million.

Essentially, November’s reported job creation consisted of spreading slightly fewer total work hours among a larger number of workers. This development is positive in terms of providing employment to more people.

Income Squeeze

However, the decrease in work hours comes just as Statistics Canada reports the lowest average wage increase (2.3%) since March 2007. This combination of fewer hours and limited wages is squeezing the incomes of working Canadians.

Constrained incomes are also likely to limit consumer spending. With consumer spending unlikely to remerge anytime soon as a major driver of economic growth, robust government investment in public services and infrastructure will be needed to propel a recovery.


  • After readinig through the report a few times, I would say that again we have a bit of euphoria being created by a whole lot of growth in sectors that are non-sustaining. While that growth is welcome news, it does not bode well when we seemingly have the feds ready to start cutting in some of these very areas where growth is occurring.

    The second pint and Erin mentions it, this is but one month and we have been on a see-saw with the LFS for the lat few months.

    It was also a bit heavy on the part-time so that again would suggest an expansion in precarious work which is not what one can build a sustainable recovery upon.

    Another point to ponder for me is a further decline in construction, with a seasonally adjusted decline , is not good news, with all the apparent stimulus money being poured into shovel ready projects, why are these construction numbers not rising?

    And lastly I am a bit lost in understanding where all these education jobs have been created? Anybody have any theories on that.


  • As Paul T stumbles on that our growth is largely illusionary. Higher rates which cannot ever be postponed indefinitely, show me one long term example. Our BoC is making Greenspans mistake, these price gains in our equities, commodities, stock will dry up when we cite a higher rate in Q4 of 2010.

    Why cant the government spend with higher rates, Ronald Reagen did it with Paul Vockler created the most self-sustaining jobs as speculator inflows are forced out. FDR did it too, he had higher rates. The too big too fails of the world have only expanded & entranced themselves further. No mechanism is in place to stop. Reform we need will never happen. It will be watered down.

    Last year central banks prooved to the corporations you dont have to a gamble and try to succeed when you get just fail, & get billions in tax dollars. We have set the ourselves up for the too big too fail too small to save and wether it takes 1 year or 10 the greater corporations will become. Sorry but pessimism keeps by family safe.

  • Constrained incomes are also likely to limit consumer spending. We need to under-consume and save, the value of one currency will always dictate investments, higher valued stimulus dollars gets that bang for our buck. The government needs to spend & have higher rates on itself to force speculator inflows out & encourage savings that can be later used by consumers and businesses, and keep retirement funds gaining reasonable intrest on their cash instead of following the speculator inflows; otherwise we will have a economy built on consumption and real negative savings rate.

    I would like to hear an explanation why people not saving and only consuming wont lead to further imbalances when we haven’t had a lack of either for years? To have a healthy balance of trade you must respect both the need for savings & consumption.

  • Part time employment, is so big business won’t have to pay benefits. There are thousands of citizens, trying to live on 20 hours a week. So, everyone has a good laugh at Campbell saying, the HST savings will be passed along to the consumer, by big business. There are two chances of that, a fat one and a slim one. Food prices in Canada are ridiculous for a country that could feed the world. Heat will go up, hydro will go up, because of Campbell selling our hydro to his business buddies. Phone and cable will increase. The economy right now is a, false economy, and we will crash. The only way to recover is, to stop the corruption in this country. Government needs to purge, they are too top heavy. Government expense accounts, have to be cut by 60%, their limo bill in it’s self, is insanely high. All governing officials, need to take a roll back in salary, by, at least 35%, except for Campbell, who stole funds from BC residents to give him self a 53% wage increase. He is not worth 2 cents, not one citizen would buy him for two cents. He needs to be in prison for the crimes, of his DUI, and, crimes, of selling our province out, for his personal gain. Canada, is very ill, because, of corruption, that was and still is going on.

  • Im also from BC, and I see what you see. Carole. Campbells out of control, all this debt we’ve racked up will cause our younger talent to leave to areas they can keep more of their wages. Lending standards are becoming like 2005 again, when housing peaked before the credit crisis was in full swing. Prices are going up too fast because of too much cheap funds from our province, federal government and the US.

    Goverment must shrink to lower the cost of running a small business.

    We must have few efficient & strict regulations, repeal regulation thats inefficient; lower taxes(which mean no deficit) If were gonna have deficit, we have to raise them.

    However we need the costs for running a small business to not just come down a percentage point but a lot. Small businesses create jobs. Everyone in the soviet union had a job. We can give credit to small business but ultimately they need a lower cost to run.

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