Friday we got the news that there are more jobs in Canada in March, but they are part-time, thus those who are piecing together “patchwork careers” made up of many part-time jobs, have found more of them. Is this good news?
The report states:
Employment increased by 29,000 in March, driven by gains in part-time work. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.8%.
Over the first quarter, employment gains totalled 63,000 (+0.4%), the result of more part-time work.
In the 12 months to March, employment increased by 138,000 (+0.8%), with most of the growth in full-time work. Over the same period, the total number of hours worked was little changed (+0.1%).
More part-time jobs? Great for old folk who might retire and only want to work part-time, or teenagers looking for some extra cash, but for folks attempting to support family? Yeh, not so much. I guess if we look at it year over year, there are more full-time jobs, so kind of “yea”?
Unemployment continues to hover at 6.8%, which is a bit confusing and has me wondering how all these numbers are calculated.
If you thought this was “fun with numbers”, the following statement is even more telling:
Adjusted to concepts used in the United States, the unemployment rate in Canada was 5.9% in March, unchanged from February. At the same time, the US unemployment rate was 5.5%, also unchanged from a month earlier.
So the unemployment number might be even lower if we used American job counting methods? This is arithmetic.
The Big Table
More importantly here is one of the big employment tables, that you should read every month, to understand what you are being told.
Labour force characteristics by age and sex â€“ Seasonally adjusted
|February 2015||March 2015||Std err1||Feb to Mar 2015||Mar 2014 to Mar 2015||Feb to Mar 2015||Mar 2014 to Mar 2015|
|thousands (except rates)||
change in thousands (except rates)
|Both sexes, 15 years and over|
|Youths, 15 to 24 years|
|Men, 25 years and over|
|Women, 25 years and over|
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.
The sum of individual categories may not always add up to the total as a result of rounding.
CANSIM table 282-0087.