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Found 12 results

  1. Edmonton's economy hottest in Canada: CIBC Western city tops ranking for first time as Calgary slips into second spot OTTAWA -- Edmonton's weather may be cold but its economy isn't, says CIBC World Markets, which reported Monday that the Alberta capital has the hottest local economy in Canada, surpassing Calgary. Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver also rank high in economic activity, while there's little economic momentum in the national capital region of Ottawa-Gatineau, according to CIBC's economic activity index, which is based on nine economic variables. "For the first time on record, the city of Edmonton tops our city ranking in terms of economic momentum," it said, crediting strong population growth, impressive employment gains, low unemployment rate, and below-average personal and corporate insolvency rates. Calgary, meanwhile, slipped into second spot with a score of 24.5, compared with 30.1 for Edmonton. Calgary's slippage reflects what the report said was a slowdown in the pace of job creation momentum in the city -- less than that of Edmonton, Saskatoon and Victoria -- and a cooler housing market. Saskatoon reached third spot with a score of 23.7, propelled by strong job and population growth, and the hottest housing market in the country. "Interestingly, Montreal is currently enjoying some renewed momentum," the report said, noting that Montreal's third-place score of 22.8 -- the only other city with a ranking above 20 -- indicated improvement in labour and housing market activity. However, the report cautioned that the momentum in Montreal's industrial economy -- based on data up to September -- is not likely sustainable with a loonie at or near parity with the U.S. dollar. Toronto, the country's largest city, had a consistently strong showing in the rankings with a score of 17.5. This reflects the growing diversity of the city, which has the fourth-fastest population growth in the country, and which boasts relatively high-quality employment. However, its labour market is softening with below-average job growth and above-average unemployment of 7%. Vancouver's ranking, at 17.3, just slightly below Toronto's, is due to the fact that -- while it did not excel in any area -- the city was above average in many areas, including strong population and job growth. Among the larger cities, Ottawa-Gatineau had the lowest ranking at just 4.7, reflecting what the report's author CIBC economist Benjamin Tal said was "some softening in employment growth, housing activity and non-residential building permits." There has been a cooling in the city's large high-tech sector, which was very strong over the past two years. The other cities and their rankings were: Sherbrooke 16.3, Victoria 15.8, Trois-Rivieres 13.6, Regina 12.5, Saint John 11.4, Quebec City 10.2, Halifax 9.1, Kitchener 8.8, Greater Sudbury 7.9, London 7.8, Hamilton 6.0, St. John's 5.5, Kingston 3.4, Thunder Bay 3.0, St. Catharines-Niagara 2.4. Two cities had negative readings -- Saguenay -2.8 and Windsor -3.3 -- highlighting the difficulties in their manufacturing sectors. "The recent appreciation in the dollar and the weakening in the U.S. economy are probably adding another layer of difficulties facing those cities," the report said.
  2. Mediocre job performance is better than the alternative JAY BRYAN, The Gazette Published: 7 hours ago Canada's job market is in mediocre shape, we discovered yesterday, and when you look at the alternative, this is wonderful news. For the past few weeks, many economic forecasters have been nervously asking themselves if Canada could resist the powerful recessionary undertow from a slumping U.S. economy or whether we'd fall into a downturn similar to the one that's under way south of the border. The final answer might not be available for a little longer, but yesterday's August job reports out of Ottawa and Washington make it clear that, for now, Canada is doing much better than the U.S. and is certainly nowhere near recession. In Canada, employment grew by a solid, if uninspiring, 15,200 jobs, returning to growth after two months of declines. That left the unemployment rate at 6.1 per cent, just above its record low of 5.8 per cent in February. So far this year, the Canadian economy has created 86,900 jobs. In the U.S, by contrast, August proved to be the eighth month in a row of shrinking employment, with 605,000 jobs lost (divide by 10 for a rough equivalence to Canadian numbers) since the beginning of this year. Unemployment south of the border jumped to a five-year high of 6.1 per cent - which sounds low to Canadians, but because of differences in measurement methods, is approximately equivalent to a Canadian unemployment rate of 7.1 per cent. Canada's modestly good job report reinforces the rationale for the Bank of Canada's decision to hold interest rates steady this week. The bank's targeted rate is already quite low at three per cent, and there's no clear need to pump emergency stimulus into the economy. Indeed, one of the the country's weakest sectors in recent years, manufacturing, has shown surprising resilience this year. As of August, factory employment was down by just 14,000, or 0.7 per cent, for this year. That's quite an accomplishment, given the plunge in car purchases by U.S. shoppers, who are the key market for Ontario's giant auto industry. In fact, Ontario has done quite well for a manufacturing province heavily dependent on U.S. customers. So far this year, it has created 51,900 jobs and its unemployment rate has actually edged down to 6.3 per cent from last December's 6.5 per cent, thanks to strong employment in construction and service industries. Ironically, Quebec, another big manufacturing province, hasn't done nearly as well, even though its big aerospace industry is much healthier than the auto industry, helping Quebec's factory sector create some jobs this year. Still, Quebec is one of the few provinces not to have enjoyed overall job growth so far in 2008. In fact, employment has shrunk by 25,200, while the unemployment rate has risen to 7.7 per cent from 7.0 per cent at the end of last year. Montreal's unemployment rate is up just 0.1 per cent so far this year, to 7.3 per cent in August, but this doesn't reflect any better performance than Quebec's on the employment front. The city actually lost 15,700 jobs in the first eight months of the year, but this was mostly offset by the 13,000 workers who abandoned the Montreal job market, making them disappear from the unemployment calculation. They might have found better opportunities elsewhere, gone back to school or simply stopped looking after a tough job search.On the provincial level, Quebec construction employment has been lukewarm and consumer-oriented service industries like retailiing have been shedding jobs, notes economist Sébastien Lavoie at Laurentian Bank Securities. As well, education employment has shrunk in Quebec as it grew in Ontario. Lavoie suggests that Quebec consumers may feeling worried enough to be cutting back on spending, while in Ontario's bigger, more diverse economy, there are still enough areas of growth to offset the auto industry's distress. Nevertheless, Ontario's ability to shrug off the U.S. economy's distress could be living on borrowed time, warns economist Douglas Porter at BMO Capital Markets. There are layoff announcements and factory closings that have yet to go into effect, he notes. And as for Ontario's boom in condo and office construction, "I have to wonder how long it can hang on."
  3. Canada sees surprising job gains in August Financial Post September 4, 2009 Canada posted a surprising gain in employment in August as the economy showed signs that it was pulling out of a recession. Canada posted a surprising gain in employment in August as the economy showed signs that it was pulling out of a recession. Photograph by: File, AFP/Getty Images OTTAWA — Canada posted a surprising gain in employment in August as the economy showed signs that it was beginning to pull out of a recession. Statistics Canada said Friday that 27,100 positions were added during the month, compared with 44,500 losses in July. The unemployment rate edged up to 8.7 per cent in August from 8.6 per cent the previous month. The gains were led by part-time and private-sector employment, the federal agency said. There were 30,600 part-time jobs added in August, while 3,500 full-time positions were lost. Hardest hit was the manufacturing sector, which shed another 17,300 in August. The biggest gains were in the retail and wholesale trade, up 21,200, and finance and real estate, up 17,500. Six provinces saw employment rise, with the biggest increases in Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec. Alberta lost the most jobs in August. "Since employment peaked in October 2008, total employment has fallen by 387,000 (down 2.3 per cent)," the agency said. "The trend in employment, however, has changed recently. Over the last five months, employment has fallen by 31,000, a much smaller decline than the 357,000 observed during the five months following October 2008." Most economists had expected the economy to lose jobs in August, with the consensus being about 15,000 fewer positions. They also expected the unemployment rate to rise to 8.8 per cent. "This report may not quite carry the good housekeeping seal of approval for the recovery, but it certainly is another big step in the right direction," said Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Capital Markets. "While we can quibble about the details, the broader picture here is that the labour market is stabilizing, and apparently much faster than in the U.S." (The U.S. Labor Department said Friday that 216,000 jobs were lost in August, although that was less than analysts had expected.) Charmaine Buskas, senior economics strategist at TD Securities, said "the fact that the (Canadian) unemployment rate continues to rise has a bit of a mixed messages, as the initial interpretation is negative, but suggests that workers are slowly becoming more encouraged by better prospects in the job market." "Ultimately, this report, while positive, is not going to have much impact on the Bank of Canada. It has already committed to keep rates on hold, and one month of good employment numbers is unlikely to sway the decision." Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at CIBC World Markets, said: "Half a loaf, or in this case, half a job, is better than none, so an increase in Canadian employment driven by part-time work is still an encouraging signpost of an economic recovery now underway." The employment report follows some mixed signals of an economic recovery in Canada. On Thursday, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development said Canada's economy will contract two per cent in the third quarter of 2009 before edging up 0.4 per cent in the final three months of the year. That's in contrast to forecasts by the Bank of Canada, which expects the country's gross domestic product to grow 1.3 per cent in the third quarter of this year, followed by a three per cent gain in the final three months of 2009. The central bank also forecast the economy will contract 2.3 per cent overall this year and grow three per cent in 2010. Last week, Statistics Canada reported GDP increased 0.1 per cent in June, even as the second quarter declined overall by 3.4 per cent. The outlook by OECD, a Paris-based group of 30 industrialized nations, shows Canada's recovery lagging along with the U.K., which is expected to decline one per cent in the third quarter and be flat in the final quarter, and Italy, which is forecast to shrink 1.1 per cent and grow 0.4 per cent, respectively. August unemployment rates by province: Newfoundland and Labrador 15.6% Prince Edward Island 13.7% Nova Scotia 9.5% New Brunswick 9.3% Quebec 9.1% Ontario 9.4% Manitoba 5.7% Saskatchewan 5.0%. Alberta 7.4% British Columbia 7.8% Source: Statistics Canada © Copyright © Canwest News Service
  4. Almost 80,000 jobs lost in February: StatsCan By The Canadian Press OTTAWA - Non-farm payrolls lost 79,600 jobs in February, with manufacturing taking the worst hit, Statistics Canada reported Wednesday. The agency said those losses continue a slump that began last October and which has cost 296,000 jobs. The agency's survey of non-farm, payroll employment found the biggest February drop was in manufacturing, where 19,300 jobs were lost. Since October, 99,700 manufacturing jobs have disappeared, a loss of 6.1 per cent. That figure is three times the rate of decline of total payroll employment. Nearly a quarter of the manufacturing job losses came in the auto industry. The survey said the number of employees working in motor vehicle parts manufacturing has fallen by 13,300 since October, while motor vehicle and motor vehicle body manufacturing has dropped by 10,200. As of February, there were 111,500 employees in motor vehicle assembly and parts, down 65,000 or 37 per cent from the peak recorded in 2001. The auto slump has echoes in related industries. Payrolls in auto repair shops are down by 5,000 since October. Auto dealers have cut 4,200 jobs in the period, while parts dealers have 2,300 fewer workers. The construction sector lost 11,100 jobs in February. There were more modest declines other sectors, including non-Internet publishing (4,800), credit intermediaries and related activities (4,300) and truck transportation (4,200). But there were some job gains in health and education, including elementary and secondary schools, and community colleges and CEGEPs in Quebec. The February losses came in all provinces, but Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia took the worst hits. Quebec lost 30,300 jobs in February, a 0.9 per cent drop. Ontario and Alberta each experienced a decline of 0.6 per cent, while British Columbia employment fell by 0.4 per cent. While Quebec experienced the largest monthly decline, both Ontario and British Columbia had the biggest drop between February 2008 and February 2009. Over the year, Ontario payrolls declined by 1.7 per cent or 97,800 jobs. The losses were mostly in manufacturing, with a 12.1 per cent drop of 94,000. In British Columbia, payroll employment was down 28,400 or 1.5 per cent in February compared with a year earlier. Much of this decline was linked to forestry and its related industries. Major communities in southwestern Ontario have all shown sharp losses and in March, Windsor had the highest unemployment rate of any large community in the country - 13.7 per cent. Average weekly earnings, including overtime, of payroll employees in February was $820.95, up 1.8 per from February 2008. This was slower than January's year-over-year increase of 2.4 per cent. From Yahoo news: http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/0...ness/jobs_lost
  5. Toronto a suburb? It's begun RENÉ JOHNSTON/TORONTO STAR Apr 08, 2009 04:30 AM Vanessa Lu city hall bureau chief Toronto is at risk of becoming a bedroom community for the booming 905 regions, warns a new report by the Toronto Board of Trade. Cities that were once outer suburbs are now growing employment areas as more businesses have pulled up stakes in the downtown core for cheaper real estate. Meanwhile, the city itself faces increasing disparity between the wealthy, who buy downtown condos where factories once stood, and the poor who inhabit the increasingly deprived inner suburbs. So Toronto remains an attractive place to live, but struggles to keep up with its neighbours on key economic indicators such as employment, productivity and income growth. "It's a tale of two cities," president and CEO Carol Wilding said at yesterday's release. "We see the reverse, or mirror images, from the city proper versus the 905." Wilding agreed with a release for the report that said Toronto has become a "magnet for living, while the surrounding municipalities form the more powerful economic engine." "If you stand back, the data shows that at this point," said Wilding. "Given the employment growth that isn't there in the city centre – yet it is a hugely attractive place – suggests the doughnut effect. ... People flock to and live in the city ... but are actually travelling outwards in the region for employment opportunities." The split between the two regions is reflected in a prosperity scorecard that compares the Toronto region with 20 others around the world on 25 important indicators. While the Toronto region scored very well overall – tying for fourth place with Boston, New York and London, but behind Calgary, Dallas and Hong Kong – the findings show a growing gap between the city itself and surrounding communities. (The study is based on the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area, a tract that includes most of the GTA except Burlington and Oshawa.) If the 416 and 905 area codes were ranked separately, the suburban regions would have taken second place on the world list – after Calgary – and Toronto would have fallen into the bottom half. But Wilding credited Toronto city hall for taking steps to counteract the trend and boost economic growth, including a policy of gradually shifting more of the property tax burden from commercial and industrial property onto homeowners. "I think from a policy perspective, we've put in place many of the changes the data would have suggested we do ... two years ago. We didn't wait," Mayor David Miller said yesterday, reacting to the report. However, he said, "Toronto starts from a very good place" as Canada's financial capital and the third biggest centre of information communications technology in North America. "Council adopted a strategy two years ago because we didn't believe we could take success for granted," he added. "And I think the underlying data says we took the right step and we're on the right path." He noted both the tax rate cuts and the creation of two new agencies, Build Toronto and Invest Toronto, to lure business and investment to the city. Given that traffic is now jammed both ways on the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway in the morning rush hour, it hardly comes as a surprise that employment growth has been strong outside Toronto proper. But the data shows the gap is "far larger than people would have expected it to be," Wilding said. Employment in the suburban regions grew by an average of 2.8 per cent a year between 2002 and 2007, compared with 1.1 per cent in the city of Toronto. In fact, most of the employment growth over the past two decades has occurred outside Toronto. "That's a significant divide. Until we start to narrow that, then we aren't serving the interests of the region as a whole," Wilding said. Average real GDP growth during the same period was just 1.2 per cent in Toronto – compared with 4.2 per cent in neighbouring cities. After-tax income growth over the same period was 3.5 per cent in Toronto, compared with 5.9 per cent outside. Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone said the report's data is already a couple of years old and doesn't reflect recent actions the city has taken to stem the flow of jobs. The report cites a 10.2 per cent growth in non-residential building permits in the surrounding regions, versus only 8.9 per cent in the city. But Pantalone pointed out that today, 4 million square feet of office buildings are under construction in Toronto, compared with only 1.5 million square feet in the 905. "That's a historical reversal. It shows those policies are working," he said. "We have established new trend lines to correct that. And it seems to be working." As Miller pointed out, the report isn't all bad news for the city. It notes that Toronto is "a study in contrasts, struggling to keep pace on the economic fundamentals but scoring well on all the attributes of an attractive city." Using research from the Conference Board of Canada, the report points out the city is doing well on indicators such as commuter travel choices, a young labour force, university education and percentage of jobs in the cultural industry. New infrastructure investments by the province, notably in transit, will also help make Toronto more competitive. Some 44 per cent of Toronto residents walk, bike or take transit to work, while only 13 per cent of residents outside Toronto do. One of Toronto's biggest advantages is its diversity, with immigrants making up close to half of the city's residents. That puts it at Number 1 among the 21 global cities, above Los Angeles at 41 per cent and New York at 36 per cent. But Board of Trade chair Paul Massara warned that the talent that exists among newcomers must not be squandered – and their integration has to be ensured. "It's absolutely essential that we get this productive part of the economy working and enhance that," Massara said, noting governments have been working to improve settlement services. With files from Paul Moloney
  6. Jobless claims soar 21% in Canada Financial Post March 24, 2009 1:02 Lukas Stewart, with his resume strapped to his body, uses a megaphone to attract the attention of potential employers on Bay Street in Toronto's financial district.Photograph by: Mark Blinch/Reuters, Mark Blinch/ReutersOTTAWA -- The number of people receiving employment insurance benefits rose to 567,000 in January, a 21.3% jump from the year before. British Columbia saw the biggest percentage increase, rising 47.7% from last year, followed by Alberta, 46%, and Ontario 43%, Statistics Canada said Tuesday. But Ontario, where the manufacturing sector experienced heavy layoffs, suffered the biggest number increase with claims rising by 54,570 from the year before. “In recent months, labour market conditions in Canada have deteriorated significantly,” the agency said in its report. “Through the early part of 2008, employment growth weakened, only to fall sharply later that year and into 2009, causing a spike in the unemployment rate. By February 2009, the unemployment rate hit 7.7%, up almost two percentage points from a record low at the start of 2008.” The number of beneficiaries is a measure of all persons who received employment insurance benefits from Jan. 11. to 17. In Alberta, 23,300 people were receiving regular EI benefits in January, up 10.5% from the month before. British Columbia had 56,100 beneficiaries, up 9%, while Ontario had 181,500 people receiving EI, which was a 6.2% increase over December. The agency noted year-over-year figures shows the increase in the number of men receiving regular was double that of women. © Copyright © National Post
  7. Job picture may be worse than it looks Many losses were full-time positions. Weakness in U.S. saps Canada as unemployment rate rises to 6.6% By SHEILA MCGOVERN, The Gazette; Reuters contributed to this report January 10, 2009 Canada's unemployment rate shot up more than expected in December, but avoided the carnage witnessed in the U.S. where the jobless rate is now the highest in 16 years. Still, Canadian economists aren't heaving a sigh of relief. The country is definitely in recession, there's more bad news ahead and it would be naive to think Canada won't feel repercussions from the bloodbath to the south, said Carlos Leitao, chief economist at Laurentian Bank Securities. And that includes Quebec, he quickly added. "This week, we've seen articles here and there stating somehow Quebec was on some other planet, able to ride out this storm. Well, not. We are on the same planet as everyone else." And the dreadful situation in the U.S. will sap Canada's manufacturing sector, based in Quebec and Ontario, he said. Canada lost 34,400 jobs in December, driving the unemployment rate to 6.6 per cent from 6.3 per cent, fuelled by losses in construction. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says housing starts slid 11.8 per cent in November, the third double-digit decrease in four months. Quebec saw its unemployment rate rise to 7.3 per cent from 7.1 per cent, because of losses in construction, trade and the tourism industry. And the figures are actually more troubling than they appear, Leitao said. There were major losses in full-time jobs, he said, which were partly offset by gains in part-time work. "That's not exactly a recipe for great prosperity. We have weak job creation and the quality is less than a year ago." And it isn't about to get better, said Krishen Rangasamy of CIBC World Markets. "With forthcoming plant closures and layoffs already announced, it's clear the worst is yet to come on the employment front, with the unemployment rate likely to creep up steadily toward eight per cent." However, economists said we can take some solace: for a rare moment, our unemployment rate is less than that of the U.S. Though the past two months have been tough here, employment in Canada at least grew between December 2007 and December 2008, albeit by a scant 0.6 per cent (an addition of 98,000 jobs, 100 of them in Quebec.) The U.S. has been losing all year and, in December, was hit with a massive drop of 524,000 jobs, driven by layoffs in all major sectors except government, education and health. That pushed its unemployment rate to 7.2 per cent from 6.8 per cent in November, higher than the seven per cent analysts were forecasting and a peak not seen since January 1993. Total job loses for 2008 reached 2.6 million, the largest decline since a 2.75-million drop in 1945. "The job situation is ugly and is going to get uglier. There's no reason to expect hiring anytime in the next three to six months. We are not going to see any hiring until the government steps in and acts. Talk doesn't work," said Richard Yamarone, chief economist at Argus Research in New York. The collapse of the U.S. housing market and the resulting financial crisis have triggered the worst financial environment since the Great Depression, and businesses and consumers have both retrenched. The darkening labour market picture underscored the sense of urgency President-elect Barack Obama and lawmakers feel about enacting a huge economic stimulus plan. "Clearly the situation is dire. It is deteriorating and it demands urgent and immediate action," Obama told a news conference yesterday. "This morning, we received a stark reminder about how urgently action is needed." [email protected] thegazette.canwest.com
  8. Le Canada gagne 35 900 emplois en avril Publié le 08 mai 2009 à 08h06 | Mis à jour à 08h09 Agence France-Presse Ottawa Le Canada a gagné 35 900 emplois en avril, de façon inattendue, essentiellement grâce aux travailleurs indépendants, tandis que le taux de chômage se maintenait à 8%, son niveau le plus élevé en sept ans, a annoncé vendredi l'institut de la statistique. Les analystes s'attendaient à une perte de quelque 50 000 emplois en avril après une saignée de 61 000 le mois précédent et à ce que le taux de chômage passe à 8,2%. Ce taux est resté inchangé à 8,0 % en avril par rapport à mars, car la hausse de l'emploi a coïncidé avec une croissance de la population active, note Statistique Canada. Malgré l'augmentation enregistrée en avril, 321 000 emplois ont été perdus au Canada depuis octobre 2008. En avril, le nombre de travailleurs indépendants a cru de 37 000, indique Statistique Canada dans un communiqué, précisant que 39 000 emplois à temps plein ont été créés, alors que 3600 emplois à temps partiel étaient perdus. Le secteur manufacturier, durement frappé par la crise, a gagné 6 700 postes en avril, mais il en a perdu 106 300 au cours des 12 derniers mois. La hausse de l'emploi en avril s'est manifestée pour l'essentiel dans les provinces du Québec (+22 000) et de Colombie-Britannique (+17 000). En avril le salaire horaire moyen avait progressé de 4,3% par rapport au même mois l'an dernier. __________________________________________________________________________________________ Canada adds 36,000 jobs HEATHER SCOFFIELD Globe and Mail Update May 8, 2009 at 8:13 AM EDT OTTAWA — The Canadian work force managed to grow slightly in April, adding 36,000 positions, mainly through self-employment, Statistics Canada said Friday. As a result, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 8 per cent last month, the highest in seven years. “This is a better-than-expected report that no one saw coming,” said economists at ScotiaCapital Inc. “Yes, there were distortions including the heavy influence of a gain in self-employment that we mistrust at this point in the cycle. But the losses elsewhere were much less significant than feared.” The unexpected gain in employment sent the dollar up by 0.93 cent (U.S.) against the U.S currency. Economists had been expecting the pace of job loss to let up a little bit in April after months of steep decline, forecasting the elimination of 50,000 positions compared to 61,000 in March. They had predicted an 8.3 per cent unemployment rate, up from 8 per cent in March. While economists expect self-employment to expand during a recession, as laid-off workers create opportunities of their own, the increase in April was substantial. About 37,000 new self-employed positions were added to the work force, accounting for well over half of the 61,800 increase in self-employment over the past year. Jobs among people employed by others, on the other hand, fell a statistically insignificant 1,100 positions. Stabilization was also evident in the sectors that have shed the most jobs during the recession – manufacturing and construction. Employment in both those categories was changed very little in April, with construction employment declining 7,500 jobs and manufacturing employment growing 6,700 positions. In the goods side of the economy overall, employment barely budged in April, but has declined by a sharp 6.3 per cent since last October. The services side of the economy, which has been less touched by the recession, added 35,100 positions in April, particularly in the information sector and in culture and recreation. Since October, when the labour market began to slide, employment economy-wide has fallen by 321,000 positions. That's a decline of 1.9 per cent, with the losses concentrated in constructing, manufacturing and natural resources. Full-time employment rose by 39,000 positions in April, while part-time was little changed. However, full-time employment is still down 2.5 per cent since October. By region, employment rose in both Quebec and British Columbia. Quebec gained 22,000 positions, but because more people joined the work force, its unemployment rate rose to 8.4 per cent, from 8.3 per cent in March. British Columbia added 17,000 jobs, and its unemployment rate stayed still at 7.4 per cent. Still, the gains don't come close to making up for losses in the previous months. Ontario, where job losses have been severe, managed to stabilize in April, shedding 3,000 positions. Its unemployment rate stayed stable at 8.7 per cent. Ontario's job losses account for half of the country's total decline since October. By demographic, the April employment gains went mainly to adult men, and to women over the age of 55. Economists were surprised by the job creation, even though some indicators have suggested lately that the Canadian economy was showing signs of life. They warned that the job creation probably wouldn't last, since the all-important auto and manufacturing sectors are poised to cut severely in coming months, and because mothballed natural resource projects aren't about to roar back to life. Economists are often skeptical of self-employment numbers because they suspect that respondents to Statistics Canada's survey of households would rather say they're working for themselves than admit to being unemployed. Plus, many self-employed people earn considerably less than employed people. “That said, we can't dismiss the headline because of dubious self-employment gains, as there were only 1,100 job losses beyond the self-employment component,” the Scotia economists said. The labour report was undeniably good news, agreed Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Nesbitt Burns. “Now that's what I would call a green shoot,” he said. Still, he warned against getting too carried away. “While quite encouraging, it's important to recall that head fakes are always possible,” he said. During the darkest days of the recession of the early 1990s, for example, Canadian employment managed to rise in five separate months. “Still, this marks a huge improvement from the wicked job losses seen over the winter, and is yet another strong signal that the economy may be approaching bottom – certainly sooner than most forecasters believed possible just a few weeks ago.” Indeed, there are a growing number of signs that the free-fall that inflicted the Canadian economy at the end of last year and the beginning of this year began to let up in February and March. Auto and housing sales have picked up, the drop in exports slowed, manufacturing output stopped plunging and financial markets showed signs of recovery.
  9. Manufacturing activity at 26-year low NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- A key index of the nation's manufacturing activity fell to a 26-year low, sliding into recession territory, a purchasing managers group said Monday. The Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) manufacturing index tumbled to 38.9 in October from 43.5 in September. It was the lowest reading since September 1982, when the index registered 38.8. Economists were expecting a reading of 42, according to a survey conducted by Briefing.com. The tipping point for the index is 50, with a reading below that indicating contraction in manufacturing activity. The index has hovered around the 50 mark since September 2007, with an average of 49.1. A reading below 41 is considered a sign that the economy is in recession. "It appears that manufacturing is experiencing significant demand destruction as a result of recent events, with members indicating challenges associated with the financial crisis, interruptions from the Gulf hurricane, and the lagging impact from higher oil prices," said Norbert Ore, chairman of the Institute for Supply Management's Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, in a statement. Employment in the manufacturing sector fell for the third month in a row. ISM's employment measure registered 34.6 in October, down 7.2 points from September. It was the lowest reading for the employment component since March 1991, when it registered 33.6. The index component for the prices manufacturers pay for raw materials declined 16.5 points to a reading of 37 in the month. It was the lowest point for the component since December 2001 when the prices index registered 33.2. In a sign of growing economic weakness worldwide, the index's measure of export orders fell 11 points to a reading of 41. The decline came after 70 months of expansion. Rising exports had been a bright spot for U.S. manufacturers as the domestic economy deteriorates. But last month's decline suggests that struggling consumers overseas are losing their appetite for U.S. exports.
  10. Has Canada slipped into recession without anyone noticing? July 16, 2008 - 6:35 pm By: Julian Beltrame, THE CANADIAN PRESS OTTAWA - Canada is within a hair's breadth of slipping into a technical recession, economists said Wednesday, a day after the outlook for the North American economy soured sharply. But they add that it won't seem like recessions of the past. In fact, says University of Toronto economist Peter Dungan, Canadians may already have lived through a technical recession - two quarters in a row of a shrinking economy - and not noticed. "Our forecast is there's a recession now," Dungan said. "There may be a slight revision to the first quarter, but the second (which ended June 30) is almost certainly negative. "This is nothing like the recessions we had in the early '90s and early '80s, however, when we had serious recessions and serious unemployment," he added. The early '80s recession came after two major oil price shocks in the 1970s that battered the North American economy and led to a restructuring of heavy industry, especially steel and autos, with the loss of millions of jobs. The early 1990s recession produced widespread bankruptcies in real estate and retail before growth resumed a few years earlier. Speaking in Calgary, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty expressed confidence that the economy would stay on the positive side of the ledger and insisted Ottawa won't fall into a deficit as a result of the slowdown. "We are on track in terms of our budget in Canada, that we will continue to run a surplus," he said, adding that the country's "strong fundamentals" and status as an emerging energy superpower will keep it in better shape than the United States, although not immune to a global economic slowdown. "Canada is not an island," Flaherty said earlier in a speech to a Calgary Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Following a first quarter contraction that saw gross domestic product fall 0.3 per cent and continuing signs of stress, economists and policy makers have been routinely revising their growth projections for the year, all trending downward. In the last week, Canadians have been hit by a series of bad news announcements. Employment fell in June for the first time this year and full-time employment tumbled for the second straight month. Average home sale prices edged down during the month, the first year-over year price decline in nearly a decade. And General Motors Corp. (NYSE:GM) announced plans to lay off 20 per cent of its white collar staff in North America, a further cut of thousands of jobs. Meanwhile, the Bank of Canada warned of rising inflation Tuesday while lowering its 2008 growth forecast from 1.4 per cent in April to one per cent. On Wednesday, the Conference Board of Canada downgraded its projection from 2.2 per cent this spring to 1.7 per cent. For both, it was the second downward revision so far this year. Both are overly optimistic, says David Wolf, chief economist with Merrill Lynch Canada, who says gross domestic product increase will likely come in at a tepid 0.5 per cent this year, a statistical blip from recessionary times. "Absolutely, by the informal definition of recession we could be in recession," agrees Global Insight economist Dale Orr, noting that nobody will know for sure until late in August, when Statistics Canada releases the second quarter growth tally. But Orr also points out that the Canadian economy still has some legs, particularly in the resource and oil and sector, consumer spending, and employment and housing that while slowing, are coming off record-setting years. Even manufacturing showed signs of life in May. Statistics Canada reported Wednesday that manufacturing sales rose 2.7 per cent from April, the fourth increase in five months. The details behind the aggregate number were weaker as sales remain below last year's levels and most of the gain was due to higher prices, not increased production. The strongest pillar remains high-priced commodities, particularly Alberta oil, which is bringing tremendous wealth into the country and helping grease the general economy through corporate profits, job creation, and higher government revenues that get passed along in lower taxes and higher spending. "Perhaps the volume of what we produce is going down, but the wealth effect (from commodity exports) is very much there," said Pedro Antunes of the Conference Board. "We often think that's beneficial for some regions and sectors, but there have been redistributive effects. The federal government has collected dividends that's been fanned out to all Canadians in the form of tax cuts, and the effect on stock prices, wages, employment have been distributed all over the country." That has kept nominal gross domestic product growth - which measures the actual worth of what Canadians produce - above four per cent, as opposed to the flat performance in real growth, which measures the amount produced. "The hurt in Canada is narrowly focused in the trade sector," Orr says. "If you are in Windsor, Ont., where unemployment is near 10 per cent and the value of your home is falling, or in the auto sector, or if you are in a forestry one-industry town in northern Ontario or Quebec or B.C., then you are really hurting." But for most Canadians the slump has yet to register and likely won't if forecasts of a second-half improvement prove accurate. And for those who live off the resource sector, this is boom times, says Orr. Dungan says another difference between today and recessions of the previous two decades is that inflation, while rising, remains relatively tame, and governments now have the wherewithal to stimulate the economy or at least not inflict further harm. "The Bank of Canada is trying to keep inflation from rising, not reduce it, and generally speaking prevention is not as costly and not as unpleasant as cure," he explained. "And our government balances are basically OK. It's not like 1991 when we had huge deficits and therefore you couldn't do anything, if anything you were trying to raise taxes to make those better, which only makes the downturn worse."
  11. Economy Shed 598,000 Jobs in January Article Tools Sponsored By By EDMUND L. ANDREWS Published: February 6, 2009 WASHINGTON — The United States lost almost 600,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent, its highest level in more than 16 years, the Labor Department said Friday. It was the biggest monthly job loss since the economy tipped into a recession more than a year ago, and it was even worse than most forecasters had been predicting. In addition, the government revised the estimates for previous months to include another 400,000 job losses. For December, the government revised the job loss to 577,000 compared with an initial reading of 524,000. Over all, it said, the nation has lost 3.6 million jobs since it slipped into a recession in December 2007. “Businesses are panicked and fighting for survival and slashing their payrolls,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com. “I think we’re trapped in a very adverse, self-reinforcing cycle. The downturn is intensifying, and likely to intensify further unless policy makers respond aggressively.” Despite the jobless number, Wall Street opened strongly with all three major exchanges up more than 1.5 percent. As in previous months, employers in January slashed their payrolls in almost every industry except health care Manufacturers eliminated 207,000 jobs, more than in any year since 1982. The construction industry eliminated 111,000 jobs. And retailers, who were wrapping up their worst holiday shopping season in years, eliminated 45,000 jobs. One modest exception to the bad news was in workers’ wages, which have thus far not reflected the dramatic plunge in employment. Hour earnings edged up to $18.46, up 5 cents, and average weekly earnings climbed $614.72, up $1.67. But over all, the new data reinforced the impression of an economy that has become increasingly trapped a vicious circle slumping consumer demand, falling business investment, rising unemployment and mounting losses in the banking system. Christina D. Romer, head of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, said the report reinforced the need for Washington to acted quickly on a economic stimulus package. “If we fail to act,” Ms. Romer said, “we are likely to lose millions more jobs and the unemployment rate could reach double digits.” Although the United States officially slipped into a recession in December 2007, the decline was erratic and temporarily disguised by the impact of the emergency tax-rebate last spring. Since September, analysts say, economic activity suddenly plunged on almost every front. The monthly pace of job losses shot up to about 500,000 a month for the last three months of 2008, and the new report offered no hint that bottom is in sight. Last week, the number of Americans filing first-time jobless claims reached a 26-year high, with 626,000 filling out initial applications. “This is a horror show we’re watching,” said Lawrence Mishel, president of the Economic Policy Institute, a left-of-center economic research organization in Washington. “By every measure available-loss of employment and hours, rise of unemployment, shrinkage of the employment to population rate- this recession is steeper than any recession of the last forty years, including the harsh recession of the early 1980s.” Most forecasters had predicted that the economy would lose about 540,000 in January. Instead, the Labor Department estimated that 598,000 jobs disappeared. To be sure, monthly payroll numbers are subject to big revisions in the months that follow. But most other indicators of the job market had been trending worse as well. Major retailers, rocked by one of the worst holiday shopping seasons in memory, have been shutting stores and laying of armies of workers in recent weeks. On Thursday, the nation’s retailers reported that sales fell 1.6 percent in January, the fourth consecutive month of steep sales declines. And in sign that the country’s slowdown continues to reach beyond its borders, Canada, America’s largest trading partner, reported Friday that its unemployment rate jumped to 7.2 percent in January, from 6.7 percent in December. In Washington, Friday’s gloomy job report put more pressure on Congress to pass an economic stimulus bill. The House passed a bill last week that would provide more than $800 billion in spending and tax cuts. In the Senate, still bogged down by objections from Republicans, lawmakers were hoping to be able to muster enough votes to pass a measure on Friday “Today’s unemployment numbers are even worse than we thought,” said Representative Barney Frank, the Massachusetts Democrat who leads the House Financial Services Committee. “If anything can persuade Congressional Republicans to stop their hyper partisan sniping at the recovery package, these disastrous employment numbers should be it.” For comparison, the unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in January 2008. But some analysts contend that the current unemployment rate of 7.6 percent understates the labor market’s problems because the percentage of adults participating in the labor force has slumped in recent years, and those people are not listed as “unemployed.” Peter Morici, an economist at the University of Maryland, estimated that if the labor force participation rate today was as high as it was when President Bush took office, the unemployment rate would be 9.4 percent. Ian Shepherdson, chief North American economist for High Frequency Economics in Valhalla, N.Y., said the government had become the only source of energy left to break the cycle of slumping demand for goods and falling production. “The public sector needs to act,” Mr. Shepherdson wrote in a note to clients. “It needs to prevent an endless spiral of attempts to increase saving, leading to reduced spending, leading to reduced incomes, leading to further attempts to raise savings, and so on.” “We remain firmly of the view that the package now in Congress is the bare minimum required to slow the shrinkage of the economy over the next year.” Many economists expect that the economy will continue to contract until July at the very least, but at a slowing pace in the second quarter. That would make it the longest recession since the 1930s, outlasting the two record-holders, the mid-1970s and early 1980s downturns. Each of these recessions lasted 16 months. The current recession, which started in December 2007, would reach that milestone in April. The Federal Reserve continues to pump money into the financial system at a furious pace. Since September, the central bank has more than doubled its reserves, from $900 billion to more than $2 trillion, by literally creating new money. The Fed has used some of that money to help bail out financial institutions, from Citigroup and Bank of America to the American International Group. It has been pumping hundreds of billions of dollars into new lending programs, stepping in for banks and other financial institutions to buy up a widening array of corporate debt. Later this month, the Fed will begin a $200 billion program, in conjunction with the Treasury, to finance consumer debt ranging from car loans and credit card debt to student loans. But analysts say that the big problem is not a shortage of money, but a shortage of demand for products by businesses and consumers. As a result, banks are overloaded with excess reserves, made available by the Fed, which they are often simply parking at the Fed. _________________________________________________________________________ Les Américains payent le gros prix pour les banquiers de Walt Street, je n`ai pas de pitié pour eux, ils ont plongé le monde en crise, en ce sens, ils méritent grandement les conséquences...
  12. July 28, 2010 Economic Snapshot Office vacancy rates hit five-year high, despite uptick in office jobs JOHN CLINKARD consulting economist, CanaData The national office vacancy rate reached 9% in the second quarter of 2010, continuing a trend that started in the fourth quarter of 2008. This rate was up from 8.8% in the first quarter and was its highest level since the second quarter of 2005. According to the most recent numbers from Cushman & Wakefield, the increase was largely due to the addition of 1.5 million square feet of new supply. And it occurred despite the fact that 911,800 square feet of space were absorbed in the quarter. The office vacancy rate retreated slightly in Calgary (from 13.4% to 13.3%) and Winnipeg (from 9.3% to 9.0%) but increased in the remaining eight major metro areas. Among the 10 largest census metro areas, St John’s, N.L. had the lowest office vacancy rate in the country (5.5%), despite a significant decline in office-based employment over the past year. Ottawa recorded the second lowest office vacancy rate (6.6%) due in large part to a strong (+7.6% year over year) increase in office-based employment in the second quarter. Other major metro areas with below (national) average vacancy rates in the second quarter included: Saint John, N.B. (7.9%), Toronto (8.1%), and Vancouver (8.4%). In Montreal the office vacancy rate increased from 9.1% to 9.2%, its highest level since the third quarter of 2007. The office vacancy rate for the 10 largest metro areas in Canada is now at its highest level in five years, and year-to-date commercial building permits are down by 3.5% year over year in May. As such, the near-term outlook for new office construction is quite guarded. The outlook is further clouded by the concerns about the health of the U.S./global recovery. Having said this, the relative strength of office-based employment in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver continues to point to a pickup in office construction late in 2010 or early in 2011. John Clinkard has over 30 years’ experience as an economist in international, national and regional research and analysis with leading financial institutions and media outlets in Canada. :(:(