ROCHON: Harper in closet over the economy as Canada heads toward another recession

This guest blog post has been written by Louis-Philippe Rochon. You can follow him on Twitter @Lprochon – Harper’s recent incarnation as an anti-terrorist crusader has caught many Canadians by surprise. Harper is spending considerable political energy beating the drums of war against terrorists, and introducing a far-reaching, and much condemned, bill aimed at restricting free speech, and increasing police […]

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Rochon on the Bank of Canada’s Decision to Lower the Rate of Interest

Louis-Philippe Rochon—who now blogs for CBC—argues that almost nobody had been expecting the Bank of Canada’s recent decision to lower the rate of interest. His post can be found here. Follow him on Twitter @Lprochon. Nick FalvoNick Falvo is a Calgary-based research consultant with a PhD in Public Policy. He has academic affiliation at both Carleton University and Case Western […]

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Minimum Wages and Employment Outcomes

Last week my Unifor colleague Jordan Brennan and I published a study through the CCPA Ontario office examining the historical empirical evidence regarding the link between changes in minimum wages and employment outcomes.  We find there is no robust evidence in Canadian historical data that increases in real minimum wages cause either lower employment or higher unemployment, even when we focus […]

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Labour market musings

Just a short post ahead of the job numbers that come out from Statistics Canada tomorrow. Five years after the end of the last recession, and Canada’s labour market is still limping along. And it seems to have taken a turn for the worse recently. While the Conservative government crows about one million net new jobs, they conveniently forget to […]

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Should Welfare Recipients Try Harder to Find Work?

This morning the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation released a new report about “motivational interviewing” for welfare recipients.  The link to the full report is here, and the link to the executive summary is here. Authored by Reuben Ford, Jenn Dixon, Shek-wai Hui, Isaac Kwakye and Danielle Patry, the study reports on a recent randomized controlled trial done on long-term […]

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Job Vacancies Falling

The number of job vacancies recorded by Statistics Canada are at a four year low (job vacancy data collection began in January 2011). The number of unemployed persons has changed very little, and so we have a relatively high number of unemployed persons per job vacancy. Even though the data is not seasonally adjusted, you can see an overall trend […]

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Labour market stagnant

Erin has already commented that the tiny silver lining of 26,000 net new jobs in May covers a net loss of full-time jobs. In fact, if you compare this May to May 2013, we see that all of the net job gain in the past 12 months is part-time work too. To look at the trends, I broke down employment […]

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Rental Housing in Yellowknife

Yesterday I blogged about rental housing in Yellowknife, over at the Northern Public Affairs web site.  Specifically, I blogged about a recent announcement by the city’s largest for-profit landlord that it plans to “tighten” its policies vis-a-vis renting to recipients of “income assistance” (which, in most parts of Canada, is known generically as social assistance).  Among other things, I suggest […]

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Hudak job cuts impact on communities

Today the Ontario Federation of Labour and CUPE Ontario published calculations I prepared of how Ontario Conservative leader Tim Hudak’s promise to eliminate 100,000 public sector jobs will be felt at the local level, on cities and communities across the province. The original OFL release provides info on the magnitude of these impacts for the 15 largest census metropolitan areas across Ontario, for which […]

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Tim Hudak, job-killer

It’s a bit of a headscratcher. First, Ontario Conservative leader Tim Hudak builds his whole campaign around a promise to create one million new jobs in Ontario over eight years, then one of his first campaign commitments threats  is to reduce the number of Ontario government employees by 100,000, together with a wage freeze for every government workers and lower spending […]

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If underemployed workers counted …

I’ve written a little bit about the importance of tracking underemployment trends, and this is particularly important when those trends diverge from the headline unemployment rate. This graph (12 month moving average of unadjusted monthly data) separates unemployed workers and underemployed workers. In recent years the number of unemployed workers has fallen slowly (partially due to falling labour force participation […]

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Austerity Bites, Employment Rate Falls Again

Today’s labour force numbers are ugly, there’s no other word for it. Employment down 29,000 jobs.Paid employment (ie. not counting self-employment) down 46,000 jobs. The only reason the unemployment rate held steady (at 6.9%) is because labour force participation fell again: by almost 2 tenths of a point, to just over 66%.That’s the lowest level of labour force participation since […]

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How to calculate un(der)employment

For my day job, I wrote a thing about underemployment in Canada. I thought that it might be useful to post my method here so that other interested parties could calculate it for themselves. The headline unemployment rate counts all those who are unemployed, available to start work, and actively looking for a job. The internationally accepted measure of the […]

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Do High Tuition Fees Make for Good Public Policy?

This afternoon I gave a presentation to Professor Ted Jackson’s graduate seminar course on higher education, taught in Carleton University’s School of Public Policy and Administration.  The link to my slide deck, titled “The Political Economy of Post-Secondary Education in Canada,” can be found here. Points I raised in the presentation include the following: -Tuition fees have been rising in […]

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Fewer Jobs Without People In 2013

The most recent Jobs Vacancy statistics are out, and the trend for 2013 so far has been a reduction in the number of job vacancies reported by businesses compared to 2012. The number of job vacancies reported by businesses fell by 41,000 between September 2012 and September 2013, so that even though there were fewer unemployed workers in September 2013, there […]

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More on alternate measures of unemployment

I’ve mentioned differences between Statistics Canada’s R8 measure and the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics’ U6 measure before, but I think it’s worth covering again. R8 is Canada’s broadest measure of unemployment, and includes discouraged workers, workers waiting for a job to begin, and a portion of involuntary part-time. The most recent value for R8 was 10.3% in August, down […]

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Unemployment is higher than you think.

Every month, Statistics Canada comes out with the unemployment rate, and every month it gets a lot of attention. But the unemployment rate provides quite limited information about the actual health of the labour market. The addition of two other pieces of information nearly doubles the unemployment rate: the proportion of the labour market employed part-time but looking for more […]

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EI Benefits Falling Faster Than Unemployment

Statistics Canada reported today that 12,290 fewer Canadians received Employment Insurance (EI) benefits in May compared to April. EI benefits are shrinking far faster than unemployment. In percentage terms, the number of EI recipients declined as much in just the last month as unemployment declined over the past year. Between April and May, the number of unemployed Canadians decreased by […]

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Canada Sinking Fast on Global List of Job Creators

The federal government never tires of boasting that Canada’s labour market has performed better than most other countries through the financial crisis and subsequent recession, and that the number of Canadians working today is greater than it was before the recession hit.  That means we have fully recovered from the downturn, and the Tories are good economic managers, right?  Wrong.

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About those jobs without people, Minister Kenney

Upon being appointed Minister of the newly renamed “Employment and Social Development” (formerly HRSDC), Mr. Kenney tweeted his view on the Canadian labour market: “I will work hard to end the paradox of too many people without jobs in an economy that has too many jobs without people. #shuffle13“ Coincidentally, perhaps, the most recent Statistics Canada numbers on job vacancies […]

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Falling EI Benefits Amid Rising Unemployment

Statistics Canada reported today that 5,200 fewer Canadians received Employment Insurance (EI) benefits in March, even though 6,800 more Canadians filed EI claims. The Labour Force Survey indicates that 42,100 more Canadians were unemployed in March. In other words, the federal government provided benefits to fewer workers despite a spike in unemployment and more applications for benefits. As a result, […]

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Crowley’s Red Hot Labour Market

Brian Lee Crowley’s latest column shows he’s a glass-half-full kinda guy. We shouldn’t be worried about unemployment because a) it’s old-fashioned, b) Boomers had it worse (and now they’re getting old) c) we’re doing better than the U.S., and d) it’s really only young people and immigrants that are unemployed. This is a relief. So I shouldn’t worry that Statistics Canada […]

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Canadians Giving Up on the World of Work

The glaring contrast between employment numbers, and the unemployment rate, was highlighted by today’s labour force numbers from Statistics Canada (capably dissected elsewhere on this blog by Angella MacEwan). Paid employment (ie. employees) declined by 46,000.  Total employment (including self-employment) fell by 22,000.  Yet the unemployment rate fell to 7% — its lowest level since late 2008. Fewer people were […]

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Job Market Worsens in January

After five months of  job gains, the job market turned dismal in January. Officially, the unemployment rate fell from 7.1% to 7.0%, the lowest it’s been since December 2008. This is despite a loss of 45,800 jobs (not counting self-employment). The explanation is an out flux of discouraged workers from the labour market, which caused the ‘real’ unemployment rate (R8) to jump […]

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