On Friday Stats Canada published their monthly Labour Force Survey for September 2015, and as usual the numbers are a little confusing and can be interpreted in a few ways. Whoever writes these reports does have a knack of summing up the confusion well in the first paragraph of the report:
Employment was little changed for the fourth consecutive month in September (+12,000 or +0.1%). The unemployment rate increased by 0.1 percentage points to 7.1% as more people participated in the labour market.
Isn’t that just clearly confusing? The sentence that really is telling is the fact that unemployment is up, because more folks are looking for jobs.
I really do wish there was some measure of “quality of jobs” (although the hours works index does exist) because the other telling statement is the following:
Part-time employment rose by 74,000 in September, which was largely offset by a decline of 62,000 in full time.
This economy seems to be just great in creating Part-time jobs for folks (which is good news for old guys like me who will retire soon and then be looking for a side-hustle to make a little extra pocket money, but crappy news for those 20 year olds hoping to start a career) but not many full time jobs (or at least keep them going).
One more statement I like to note in this report
In the 12 months to September, the number of private sector employees rose by 71,000 (+0.6%) and self-employment increased by 68,000 (+2.5%). Over the same period, public sector employment was little changed.
I think it is good to hear that the Public Sector is holding steady and the private sector is growing jobs, my opinion is that Governments should not be the major job creator in an economy.
It does seem that compared to our friends in the U.S., we are not doing as well.
Adjusted to US concepts, the unemployment rate in Canada was 6.0% in September. In the United States the rate was 5.1%. Compared with September 2014, the unemployment rate in Canada edged up by 0.1 percentage points, while the US rate fell by 0.8 percentage points.
Will the coming election change things? We shall see.