More People Chase Fewer Jobs
Further to Angellaâ€™s excellent analysis:
Statistics Canada reported today that unemployment jumped by 25,700 in June because of shrinking employment and a growing labour force. Canadaâ€™s labour force expanded because of population growth, even though the participation rate did not increase. The combination of less employment and a larger working-age population depressed the employment rate to 61.4% â€“ its lowest level since January 2010.
The Harper government has long trumpeted having a stronger job market than the US. In June, the unemployment rate rose in Canada but fell in the US. Statistics Canada reports that it is now the same on both sides of the border, even after adjusting for methodological differences between the two countries.
Continuing evidence of a weak Canadian labour market underscores the need for public investment in important services and infrastructure to help create jobs. Austerity is the wrong priority for federal and provincial governments.
UPDATE (July 12): Quoted by Canadian Press and todayâ€™s Toronto Star (page B1).
National Post: Spend like thereâ€™s no tomorrow
Re: Ontarioâ€™s â€˜Principled Griping,â€™ Andrew Coyne, July 15.
According to the federal government, increases in fiscal transfers to the provinces should not exceed the growth rate of the economy, but what is the rationale for this rule? The existence of 1.3 million unemployed Canadians shows that there is a massive amount of slack in the system. Instead of blaming the provinces for deficits and advocating austerity measures, the federal government should put people to work by dramatically increasing spending.
Instead of initiating infrastructure renewal and job-creation programs entirely on its own, the federal government should delegate responsibility by increased transfers to provinces and municipalities that already have lists of much-needed projects and are desperate for funds. As John Maynard Keynes advised during the Great Depression, â€œLook after the unemployment, and the budget will look after itself.â€
Larry Kazdan, Vancouver.