Unemployment Ticks Up in Canada in June

Our friends at Stats Canada published their Labour Force Survey for June 2014 on Friday and the news is not great, Employment is somewhat the same and unemployment is up 0.1% from May. The unemployment increase was mostly having more folks looking for jobs last month.

Stats Canada’s official word is:

Compared with 12 months earlier, employment increased by 72,000 or 0.4%. This was the lowest year-over-year growth rate since February 2010, when year-over-year employment growth resumed following the 2008-2009 labour market downturn.

Not to be too negative, at least employment increased, year over year, and didn’t drop, but the economy is not in a high state of job creation now.

Employment For Past Little While

Chart 1 Employment for Past Little While

A very telling commentary on the report is:

Employment decreased among youths aged 15 to 24 and people aged 25 to 54 in June, while it increased among people aged 55 and over.

So old farts like yours truly are finding jobs, but the “engine” of the economy the younger folks aren’t? I have stated this before, but it needs to be repeated, old guys like me being employed is all fine, and my guess is many of us are not going to give up working for a long time. This seems to be creating a virtual log jam, not freeing up jobs for younger folks to move up. What is more interesting is more companies are simply not filling jobs being vacated by retirees and such, at least that is what I am seeing from my vantage point. Let’s hope the economy finds a way to remedy this problem.

UnEmployment For Past Little While

Chart 2 Unemployment for Past Little While

Not good to see this graph ticking up as well.

Summer Student Employment

The Stats Canada folks collect data about summer student jobs, but they don’t include it in the big numbers, but they do publish some information:

In June, the employment rate among returning students aged 20 to 24, that is, the number of employed as a percentage of their population was 67.4%, similar to that of June 2013. The unemployment rate was 12.0% for this group of students, little changed from 12 months earlier.

The Big Table

There are some really interesting tables of data published with this report, but this month we shall look at Employment by Age (in more detail):

Table 1
Labour force characteristics by age and sex - Seasonally adjusted

May 2014 June 2014 Standard error1 May to June 2014 June 2013 to June 2014 May to June 2014 June 2013 to June 2014
thousands (except rates) change in thousands (except rates) % change
Both sexes, 15 years and over
  Population 28,996.2 29,036.8 40.6 380.2 0.1 1.3
Labour force 19,173.9 19,190.2 29.1 16.3 86.5 0.1 0.5
Employment 17,830.1 17,820.7 28.9 -9.4 72.3 -0.1 0.4
Full-time 14,396.4 14,429.9 39.2 33.5 35.6 0.2 0.2
Part-time 3,433.7 3,390.7 36.1 -43.0 36.6 -1.3 1.1
Unemployment 1,343.8 1,369.5 24.9 25.7 14.2 1.9 1.0
Participation rate 66.1 66.1 0.1 0.0 -0.6
Unemployment rate 7.0 7.1 0.1 0.1 0.0
Employment rate 61.5 61.4 0.1 -0.1 -0.5
Part-time rate 19.3 19.0 0.2 -0.3 0.1
Youths, 15 to 24 years
Population 4,426.9 4,423.7 -3.2 -26.7 -0.1 -0.6
Labour force 2,855.4 2,807.6 17.2 -47.8 -69.7 -1.7 -2.4
Employment 2,474.7 2,431.1 15.8 -43.6 -50.2 -1.8 -2.0
Full-time 1,281.0 1,256.6 18.6 -24.4 -29.6 -1.9 -2.3
Part-time 1,193.7 1,174.5 19.7 -19.2 -20.6 -1.6 -1.7
Unemployment 380.6 376.5 14.6 -4.1 -19.4 -1.1 -4.9
Participation rate 64.5 63.5 0.4 -1.0 -1.2
Unemployment rate 13.3 13.4 0.5 0.1 -0.4
Employment rate 55.9 55.0 0.4 -0.9 -0.8
Part-time rate 48.2 48.3 0.7 0.1 0.1
Men, 25 years and over
Population 12,035.8 12,057.9 22.1 207.7 0.2 1.8
Labour force 8,637.2 8,692.5 15.1 55.3 111.0 0.6 1.3
Employment 8,110.4 8,139.9 16.4 29.5 87.7 0.4 1.1
Full-time 7,447.5 7,503.5 22.0 56.0 73.8 0.8 1.0
Part-time 662.9 636.4 18.0 -26.5 13.9 -4.0 2.2
Unemployment 526.8 552.6 14.5 25.8 23.3 4.9 4.4
Participation rate 71.8 72.1 0.1 0.3 -0.3
Unemployment rate 6.1 6.4 0.2 0.3 0.2
Employment rate 67.4 67.5 0.1 0.1 -0.4
Part-time rate 8.2 7.8 0.2 -0.4 0.1
Women, 25 years and over
Population 12,533.5 12,555.2 21.7 199.3 0.2 1.6
Labour force 7,681.3 7,690.1 16.6 8.8 45.2 0.1 0.6
Employment 7,245.0 7,249.6 16.4 4.6 34.7 0.1 0.5
Full-time 5,667.9 5,669.8 25.7 1.9 -8.6 0.0 -0.2
Part-time 1,577.1 1,579.8 24.0 2.7 43.3 0.2 2.8
Unemployment 436.4 440.5 13.3 4.1 10.4 0.9 2.4
Participation rate 61.3 61.3 0.1 0.0 -0.6
Unemployment rate 5.7 5.7 0.2 0.0 0.1
Employment rate 57.8 57.7 0.1 -0.1 -0.7
Part-time rate 21.8 21.8 0.3 0.0 0.5
not applicable
1. Average standard error for change in two consecutive months. See “Sampling variability of estimates” in the section “About the Labour Force Survey” at the end of the publication Labour Force Information (Catalogue number71-001-X) for further explanations.
Note(s): 
Related CANSIM table 282-0087. The sum of individual categories may not always add up to the total as a result of rounding.

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After witnessing the Brazil Germany game this week, I have to wonder what would cause a powerful team like Brazil to fold up like a $1.99 pup tent like that? The Germans looked like they were playing the Brazil U18 team, it was a total victory by the Germans. If you reach the end of this article you will find a video montage that sums things up quite nicely. On the other hand we had Holland which decided to bore us to death, and then didn’t use the Goalie they brought only for penalty kicks in a game where they seemed bent on playing for penalty kicks? Must be Dutch Logic, but I did have a nice nap in the middle of that game.

The Tour De France shot through the Chunnel this week (for some reason it started in Yorkshire this year, which made me start watching All Creatures Great and Small on Netflix again), well it was only one rider and he zipped through a service tunnel, but he did travel the entire distance which was kind of cool to watch. The race is back in France now, and former champions are dropping out like wild (thanks to treacherous roads and rain).

I was sad to read of the passing of  William Tetley, former MNA for NDG (and a former Minister of Finance for Quebec as well) and the Dad of one of my childhood chums. One of my vivid childhood memories is going to a birthday party at Mr. Tetley’s house and seeing a machine gun nest (complete with 4 very large soldiers) on the front lawn of his house (during the October Crisis in 1970). It’s odd the things you remember from your childhood.

TigerDirect (CA) Summer Savings Event

My Writings for Week Ending July 11th 

It is the summer time and in Canada the CFL is in full swing, and the Ottawa RedBlackRenegadeRoughRiders will soon play their first home game:

  • I was a bit cheeky this week with my poke at the SEO and search engines in general with Credit Card Balance Transfer Trick, did a little bit of SEO chicanery and got a lot of folks dropping by for all the wrong reasons. I view SEO trickery as bollocks (pardon the language my brothers in the UK).
  • As with most things in life with Insurance Claims: Timing is Everything, but remember to check what kind of calendar your insurance company is using.
  • I have been rattling around my archives lately (deleting some of the really atrocious stuff) and figured I should do a retrospective on the whole tuition thing, which gave you University Cost How Much ? For those just entering the game, you have my sympathies.

To stop my front page from becoming far too long to load, I have added this helpful line (below), where you click to read all the rest of the regular fantastic posts from other authors.

[click to continue…]

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University Cost How Much ?

Back in 2005, long before my oldest was going to start University I wrote University is Going to Cost How Much? Outlining from an article from the University of Waterloo, possible University costs over the four years of my daughters’ careers, little did I know how much was missed by me. This Throwback Thursday I will reexamine the naive view I had of the costs that were going to face me (financially), and hopefully help those still wondering how much this might cost, when their children go to a post secondary school.

Surprisingly the numbers quoted by the University of Waterloo Web Page aren’t really that out of whack (at the time):

  • A student in the Co-Op program living on campus would pay $10K-12K
  • Living Off-campus they’d pay $7K-$8K
  • If they lived at home $4K-6K

Now remember this was about 9 years ago, and the numbers quoted are for a 4 month stint (so the real annual numbers are doubled).

Graduates Moving

Doesn’t Look Expensive, does it?

The interesting extra costs that I learned about (the hard way) are:

  • Computing device of some kind, be it a tablet, laptop, desktop or all of them, is going to cost you and you had better make sure you have a reliable I.T. set up (all 3 of my daughters had their laptops blow up during final exams). You will more likely than not have to replace those devices after about 2 years. That is about a $400-$2000 cost (every two  years, not including any I.T. issues, like hard drive failures and the like).
  • Trips home, if the kids are not living at home, they will want to come home, and depending on how far away they live this cost could add up to more than $1000 per 4 month term. Yes, we can all say, “They should just stay there for Thanksgiving!”, and other hard-line statements, but until you have lived the life, careful about your comments.
  • Fees and such are an interesting add-on that most universities charge. Some you can try to get refunds on (if your Health insurance covers your kids, then don’t pay for the University’s Health insurance as well), however there are many “activity fees” that are non-refundable as well, so watch out for those they can add up.
  • Living off campus can be cheaper, unless you have to furnish that apartment, and supply plates, pots, pans, etc., as well. A one time cost, but still not an expense to forget about (yes used furniture places are great for this to save money). Other incidental costs like Internet Access and heating bills add up as well, figure out a monthly budget with your kids so they learn how to live within their means.

If your child is looking at a Co-Op program, talk with them about the importance of learning to be self-sustaining, and how proud they might feel paying for all of their education themselves, they might fall for that ploy too.

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Insurance Claims: Timing is everything

I ran into an interesting financial faux pas a few months ago, when Mrs. C8j decided she needed new glasses (her eyes are deteriorating at a high rate it seems). I checked my insurance to see and yes she was allowed to buy glasses this year, so she went out and bought a nice new pair.

Optical Device Glasses

I have replaced these glasses since this photo

Mrs. C8j has her own insurance (which is nice for a full part-time job), so she first submitted her glasses claim to her insurance provider and was told, “No, we won’t pay for these because you already had new glasses, in this time period”. I believe the obscenity yelled by me was similar to #WTF! , I was not well pleased, but from this I learned that timing is everything when it comes to Optical Device Insurance Claims.

The interesting point is that both Insurance Companies claim you can purchase glasses every two years and they will cover an amount for the glasses (with a bunch of riders about styles, types of lenses etc.,) up to a maximum of about $250 (not the real number). In theory then, if Mrs. C8j went and bought $600 worth of glasses, the arithmetic should end up:

  • Insurance Company #1 pays about $250
  • Insurance Company #2 pays about $250
  • We are $100 out-of-pocket on the glasses

Fine and dandy, and that was the (flawed) assumption we went forward with, but the mistake we made was how each insurance company computes 2 years.

How can this be? I will try to elaborate

  • My Insurance company computes two years as a calendar event. If I buy glass on January 1, 2012 or on December 31st, 2012 I can then buy a new set on January 1st 2014. This is a nice way of calculating two years (and it was what I was used to with insurance).
  • My Wife’s insurance computes two years, as two years from the day you last bought glasses. Mrs. C8j had bought glasses in September of 2012, thus she wouldn’t be allowed to buy another pair until September 2014, and that is where the problem arose.

This is where the consternation on my part arose, Mrs. C8j purchased new glasses in March, thus we ended up only being reimbursed by my insurance company for their “cut” of the glasses pay out, only.

I don’t think anyone is “at fault” here except myself for not checking closely with BOTH insurance companies before telling Mrs. C8j about when the insurance might pay out, but remember with Insurance (and all things financial) check dates, riders, provisos, and the fine print closely before acting!

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Credit Card Balance Transfer Trick

I was reading a very interesting article about what is the best way to transfer your credit card debt to another card,which carries a much lower interest rate, so you pay less for your consumer debt.

I figured I’d help out with a simple trick I use to make the credit card transfer much simpler:

Bloated Wallet

Get rid of the damn credit cards!

  1. Find out your exact balance on your current credit card and how much you pay in interest on it. It’s important to understand just how much you are paying in consumer debt charges.
  2. Find a card that has a much cheaper interest rate or has a cheaper rate for a short period. Take your existing debt load and estimate how much you’ll pay with that credit card, still seems like a lot of money, doesn’t it?
  3. Pay off the first damn credit card, you are nuts to carry a balance on these financial lampreys. I’m serious, pay off your credit card debt right now!
  4. Once you have a zero balance on the first card, cancel that credit card, and cancel the second card if you applied for that as well. This makes it less likely to end up back in the position you started with.

Simple, solution isn’t it? You thought I was going to write something else?

Canadian Mint

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