Our friends at Stats Canada published the Labour Force Survey for May 2012, which shows not much change in terms of Employment or Unemployment, so I guess the Canadian Economy took a break to catch its breath (to sound optimistic)?

Following two months of large gains, employment was unchanged in May, and the unemployment rate remained at 7.3%.

Compared with 12 months earlier, employment increased 1.2% or 203,000. Virtually all of this growth was in full-time work, up 192,000 (+1.4%). The total number of hours worked rose 1.3% over the same period.

So the good news is the growth continues to be in full-time jobs, which is really good (full-time working folks pay taxes, and hopefully have benefits packages too). So even though we didn’t do much last month, year over year, we added 203,000 jobs, so that is a good thing.

Employment Canada

Employment in Canada For Last Little While

It’s hard to be gloomy with a nice graph like that (all sloping up and such, it’s like a crooked smile).

For those who want to see the glass half-empty point of view (i.e. unemployment), here is that graph:


Unemployment in Canada the Past Little While

Not really as optimistic looking, not dropping that fast, but still better than nothing. Remember that Unemployment and Employment are not as closely correlated as you might think (check out the Stats Canada site for that explanation, I don’t agree with it, but it’s their data, so I don’t get to complain (too much) about it either).

A Big Table

Yes, I love those big tables from Stats Canada, since the data says a great deal about all of the data. My favorite table from this data set is the employment by age, which I now include for your perusal.

Labour force characteristics by age and sex – Seasonally adjusted

April 2012 May 2012 April to May 2012 May 2011 to May 2012 April to May 2012 May 2011 to May 2012
thousands (except rates) change in thousands (except rates) % change
Both sexes, 15 years and over
Population 28,242.0 28,271.6 29.6 322.6 0.1 1.2
Labour force 18,865.3 18,881.0 15.7 206.4 0.1 1.1
Employment 17,494.7 17,502.4 7.7 203.4 0.0 1.2
Full-time 14,171.9 14,173.3 1.4 192.2 0.0 1.4
Part-time 3,322.8 3,329.1 6.3 11.2 0.2 0.3
Unemployment 1,370.6 1,378.6 8.0 3.0 0.6 0.2
Participation rate 66.8 66.8 0.0 0.0
Unemployment rate 7.3 7.3 0.0 -0.1
Employment rate 61.9 61.9 0.0 0.0
Part-time rate 19.0 19.0 0.0 -0.2
Youths, 15 to 24 years
Population 4,457.2 4,457.3 0.1 -0.8 0.0 0.0
Labour force 2,842.2 2,843.6 1.4 -39.2 0.0 -1.4
Employment 2,448.0 2,436.1 -11.9 -45.8 -0.5 -1.8
Full-time 1,291.7 1,280.3 -11.4 -20.6 -0.9 -1.6
Part-time 1,156.4 1,155.8 -0.6 -25.2 -0.1 -2.1
Unemployment 394.2 407.5 13.3 6.6 3.4 1.6
Participation rate 63.8 63.8 0.0 -0.9
Unemployment rate 13.9 14.3 0.4 0.4
Employment rate 54.9 54.7 -0.2 -1.0
Part-time rate 47.2 47.4 0.2 -0.2
Men, 25 years and over
Population 11,639.1 11,653.9 14.8 161.3 0.1 1.4
Labour force 8,495.0 8,503.0 8.0 125.6 0.1 1.5
Employment 7,954.6 7,973.8 19.2 128.5 0.2 1.6
Full-time 7,343.1 7,364.3 21.2 137.7 0.3 1.9
Part-time 611.5 609.6 -1.9 -9.1 -0.3 -1.5
Unemployment 540.3 529.2 -11.1 -2.9 -2.1 -0.5
Participation rate 73.0 73.0 0.0 0.1
Unemployment rate 6.4 6.2 -0.2 -0.2
Employment rate 68.3 68.4 0.1 0.1
Part-time rate 7.7 7.6 -0.1 -0.3
Women, 25 years and over
Population 12,145.7 12,160.4 14.7 162.2 0.1 1.4
Labour force 7,528.1 7,534.4 6.3 119.9 0.1 1.6
Employment 7,092.0 7,092.5 0.5 120.7 0.0 1.7
Full-time 5,537.1 5,528.7 -8.4 75.1 -0.2 1.4
Part-time 1,554.9 1,563.8 8.9 45.6 0.6 3.0
Unemployment 436.1 441.9 5.8 -0.7 1.3 -0.2
Participation rate 62.0 62.0 0.0 0.2
Unemployment rate 5.8 5.9 0.1 -0.1
Employment rate 58.4 58.3 -0.1 0.2
Part-time rate 21.9 22.0 0.1 0.2
not applicable
Related CANSIM table 282-0087.


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Europe to Austerity Measures: Tais-toi!

After a refreshing day off, I return to see that both Greece and France have effectively turned their backs on Austerity measures, by voting in folks who are opposed to all this “save the world’s economy by not spending like a drunken sailor on furlough…” (OK that is my interpretation).

Can we blame them? Would you vote for a party that is saying, “Vote for us and your services will be cut, and you will pay more taxes (and possibly you will lose your job and your pensions will be cut)..”? I must admit it would take someone with a very strong “financial moral compass” to vote that way, and I guess our European cousins don’t feel that way right now.

What will happen now? Lots more fun and excitement on the markets in the short term, that is for sure, but saying you will ignore stern economic measures and actually doing it is another story (just ask Bob Rae what happened to him when he got elected Premier of Ontario).

Make sure you have the “financial safety bar” tightly fastened because this financial roller coaster is about to get a lot more interesting!


When Millionaires Strike

So with the NBA strike you start to wonder, who is really losing money on this deal? I think the players are losing a little, the owners are losing a little more (but they are trying to make a point, so they are to blame for this one), but as pointed out in the short from PBS, it is the small businesses that rely on having a team around that are really losing money.

When the hockey strike happened, I wondered what the point was, and with this strike I really wonder what the point of it is? I realize the players want to keep their rights, the owners want to make money, but between the two groups they are making Billions of dollars (total) off playing a game, can they not just figure that out and go back to it? Yes, I am nowhere near talented enough to even clean the floors at an NBA game, but as a consumer of their product (well I was when I was younger, not so much any more) I really have to wonder what exactly is the point that is being made here?

Get back to playing, and figure out who gets the millions off the court guys.

Remember the 2011 NBA Lock Out ? Good Times


Does Democracy Help the Economy?

A very interesting (if not emotionally charged) question that one of the Ted talks asks.

Economist Yasheng Huang compares China to India, and asks how China’s authoritarian rule contributed to its astonishing economic growth — leading to a big question: Is democracy actually holding India back? Huang’s answer may surprise you.

No, I am not saying Canada should go totaletarian (any more than it might already be (sorry I was channeling my inner NDP)), but it is a very interesting argument about whether Democracies intrinsic “… let’s all be fair …” rules impeed true free enterprise? Yes it does, but I am not trading Democracy to make business a little easier, and under one party rule (to put it as politely as possible), corruption is much easier to run rampant, so I will take my Democracy thanks.

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Warren Buffett: On Ethics, Jobs and other stuff (video)

To show that I missed you too, here is an interesting short from PBS (support public broadcasting) chatting with the Wizard of Omaha (Warren Buffett) about many things. He’s an interesting commentary about ethics inside his own company and a mea culpa from him (good for him).

This short video is from the PBS Nightly Business Report, and while short, an interesting tidbit from Mr. Buffett:

Program: Nightly Business Report
Episode: Warren Buffett on Ethics, Succession, Jobs, Acquisitions, Dividends
Warren Buffett’s full interview from the Berkshire Hathaway shareholder’s meeting. Susie Gharib questions the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway on important issues for investors.

My apologies for the advertisement initially, but an interesting little chat with Mr. Buffett about issues with BRK. A and such.


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