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Found 3 results

  1. Source: Bloomberg Quebec’s unemployment rate fell to the lowest on record last month while Alberta’s surged to a two-decade high, underlining the the swing in Canada’s economic momentum through the recovery from an energy crash. Joblessness in the mostly French-speaking province fell to 6.2 percent in November from 6.8 percent in October, and in Alberta it climbed to 9 percent. The national jobless rate declined to 6.8 percent from 7 percent, Statistics Canada said Friday from Ottawa. “I’m stunned -- it’s a banner year” for Quebec, said Sebastien Lavoie, assistant chief economist at Laurentian Bank Securities in Montreal. He linked good times to a construction boom in his hometown, a low dollar boosting service industries and business confidence aided by provincial government budget surpluses. The movement of jobs from the western oil patch to central Canada’s service and factory hubs meshed with Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz’s view that non-energy companies will help the world’s 10th largest economy recover over the next few years. Poloz said this week he would only cut his 0.5 percent benchmark interest rate if there was another shock like the oil crash. His next rate decision is Wednesday. “Quebec is within a whisker of posting the lowest unemployment rate in the country, something that we haven’t seen in the 40 years of available data,” said Doug Porter, chief economist at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto. The job report “strengthens the view that the Bank of Canada will be perfectly happy staying on the sidelines.” Quebec is tied more to manufacturers like Canam Group Inc. and Montreal-based software makers, who benefit from Canada’s weaker dollar and a growing U.S. economy. South of the border, payrolls increased by 178,000 jobs, the Labor Department said, bringing the unemployment rate down to a nine-year low of 4.6 percent. The province added 8,500 jobs in November and over the past 12 months the number of unemployed people has dropped by 17 percent. It wasn’t all good news: part of the reason the jobless rate fell was 20,300 dropped out of the labor force, the most since since December 2014. Lavoie at Laurentian Bank said it would be “extremely surprising” for Quebec to make further major gains in the job market over the next year. The figures have yet to reflect some announced cutbacks at Bombardier Inc. that haven’t happened yet, and the U.S. might be about to get tough on Quebec’s large softwood lumber industry. “There are also growing uncertainties linked to trade,” he said. “There will be duties on lumber, so that’s not going to help future job creation.” The mixed pattern also showed up in the national figures. Employment climbed by 10,700 in November as 27,600 left the labor force. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected the jobless rate would be unchanged and employment would decline by 15,000.
  2. 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
  3. U.S. jobless rate climbs to 5.7% JEANNINE AVERSA The Associated Press August 1, 2008 at 12:19 PM EDT WASHINGTON — The U.S. unemployment rate climbed to a four-year high of 5.7 per cent in July as employers cut 51,000 jobs, dashing the hopes of an influx of young people looking for summer work. Payroll cuts weren't as deep as the 72,000 predicted by economists, however. And, job losses for both May and June were smaller than previously reported. July's reductions marked the seventh straight month where employers eliminated jobs. The economy has lost a total of 463,000 jobs so far this year. The latest snapshot, released by the Labour Department on Friday, showed a lack of credit has stunted employers' expansion plans and willingness to hire. Fallout from the housing slump and high energy prices also are weighing on employers. The increase in the unemployment rate to 5.7 per cent, from 5.5 per cent in June, in part came as many young people streamed into the labour market looking for summer jobs. This year, fewer of them were able to find work, the government said. The unemployment rate for teenagers jumped to 20.3 per cent, the highest since late 1992. The economy is the top concern of voters and will figure prominently in their choices for president and other elected officials come November. The faltering labour market is a source of anxiety not only for those looking for work but also for those worried about keeping their jobs during uncertain times. Job losses in July were the heaviest in industries hard hit by the housing, credit and financial debacles. Manufacturers cut 35,000 positions, construction companies got rid of 22,000 and retailers shed 17,000 jobs. Temporary help firms — also viewed as a barometer of demand for future hiring — eliminated 29,000 jobs. Those losses swamped job gains elsewhere, including in the government, education and health care. In May and June combined, the economy lost 98,000 jobs, according to revised figures. That wasn't as bad as the 124,000 reductions previously reported. GM, Chrysler LLC, Wachovia Corp., Cox Enterprises Inc. and Pfizer are among the companies that have announced job cuts in July. GM Friday reported the third-worst quarterly loss in its history in the second quarter as North American vehicle sales plummeted and the company faced expenses due to labour unrest and its massive restructuring plan. On July 15, GM announced a plan to raise $15-billion (U.S.) for its restructuring by laying off thousands of hourly and salaried workers, speeding the closure of truck and SUV plants, suspending its dividend and raising cash through borrowing and the sale of assets. GM also said it would reduce production by another 300,000 vehicles, and that could prompt another wave of blue-collar early retirement and buyout offers. Meanwhile, Bennigan's restaurants owned by privately held Metromedia Restaurant Group, are closing, driving more people to unemployment lines. All told, there were 8.8 million unemployed people in July, up from 7.1 million last year. The jobless rate last July stood at 4.7 per cent. More job cuts are expected in coming months. There's growing concern that many people will pull back on their spending later this year when the bracing effect of the tax rebates fades, dealing a dangerous blow to the fragile economy. These worries are fanning recession fears. Still, workers saw wage gains in July. Average hourly earnings rose to $18.06 in July, a 0.3 per cent increase from the previous month. That matched economists' expectations. Over the past year, wages have grown 3.4 per cent. Paycheques aren't stretching as far because of high food and energy prices. Other reports out Friday showed stresses as companies cope with a sluggish economy. Spending on construction projects around the country dropped 0.4 per cent in June as cutbacks in home building eclipsed gains in commercial construction, the Commerce Department reported. And, manufacturers' business was flat in July. The Institute for Supply Management's reading of activity from the country's producers of cars, airplanes, appliances and other manufactured goods hit 50, down from 50.2 in June. A reading above 50 signals growth. The news forced Wall Street to reassess its initial positive reaction to the jobs data. The Dow, which opened higher, slid about 80 points by midmorning. The Federal Reserve is expected to hold rates steady next week as it tries to grapple with duelling concerns — weak economic activity and inflation. In June, the Fed halted a nearly yearlong rate-cutting campaign to shore up the economy because lower rates would aggravate inflation. On the other hand, boosting rates too soon to fend off inflation could hurt the economy.
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