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Surprising Job Picture in Canada in January

A surprising job picture from the Canadian Economy grew more jobs in January (2017), according to Stats Canada. This was unexpected by most economists, so a pleasant surprise (somewhat).

What Kind of Jobs ?

Surprising Employment Picture

Surprising Employment Story
(From Metropolitan Museum of Art Collection)

The unfortunate part of this story is that the economy is creating more part-time jobs (full-time job numbers are virtually unchanged). Why is this economy creating part-time jobs, or is that what is needed?

There is an argument put forward that as the population ages, maybe part-time jobs are what the older folks want? It can’t be that young folks want to have many jobs, with little or no benefits, can it?

Part-Time Jobs

The telling statement from the article is the following:

Despite little change in January, part-time employment was up on a year-over-year basis (+190,000 or +5.6%). In January, 19.6% of employed persons worked part time, compared with 18.8% the same month a year earlier.

Why a growing part-time work force ? This would be a very interesting report if I could find it somewhere.

Unemployment & Employment Graphs

Surprising job picture

Employment & Unemployment Seasonally Adjusted


Unemployment Continues to Rise

Friday Stats Canada did their monthly labor force survey for February 2015, and while the employment numbers look like last month’s numbers, Unemployment continues to creep ahead.

Seasonally Adjusted Employment and Unemployment for Past 5 Years

Seasonally Adjusted Employment and Unemployment for Past 5 Years (from 71-001-X)

Even thought there were about 2300 less folks employed month over month the year over year overview is a bit more optimistic:

On a year-over-year basis, employment grew by 0.7% (+118,000), with the gains mostly coming from full-time work (+82,000 or +0.6%). At the same time, the number of hours worked increased by 1.0%.

The other good news for old guys like me is there were more men 55 and over employed (and it is sad that we are all still looking for work).

If you look through the detailed reports from Stats Canada you find out some interesting tidbits like the following:

Adjusted to US concepts, the unemployment rate in Canada was 6.2% in February versus 4.9% in the United States.

So our economy continues to struggle in comparison to our Cousins down South.

Who is looking, and who has jobs? A helpful graphic:

Jobs by different groupings

Where the jobs are, aren’t and who(m) has or has not

Previous Labour News

Here are some of the posts about jobs from the past while:


Stats Canada announced on Friday that things haven’t really changed too much in terms of the jobs picture in Canada in January of 2016. There are 5700 less employed folks and unemployment edged up 0.1% to 7.2%. Year over year unemployment is up 0.6% year over year, mostly due to more folks looking for jobs, but also due to losses of jobs out west too.

There was a little good news in terms of full-time jobs:

There was little change in both full-time and part-time employment in January. However, compared with 12 months earlier, full-time work increased by 172,000 (+1.2%) while part-time was little changed.

It is a good thing to see that there are more full-time jobs for folks, that means more folks (hopefully) trying to build a career, and not just trying to get by.

Unemployment for Past 5 year

Unemployment for Past 5 Years

This graphic seems to suggest that the new Liberal Government is going to have to start addressing this issue soon.

You can read along with the overall report, but the more in depth report, has a lot more interesting data to check out, and the following graphic shows where the jobs are now.

Where are the jobs?

Where are the jobs?

There are a bunch of graphics like this, however, this one suggests the jobs are in Technical Services, Financial Services and very much in Health Care and Social help as our population ages.

Labour News for 2015

Here are some of the posts about jobs from the past while:


Steady Job News to End 2015

Friday our friends from Stats Canada published the year-end Labour Force Survey, and it was fine, nothing too exciting, but no big changes either, Employment up a little and Unemployment staying about the same. Specifically employment was up 23,000 raising the overall rate by 0.1%, although unemployment stayed the same as last month (7.1%).

For the whole year a relatively good employment story with the following statement:

In the 12 months to December, employment gains totalled 158,000 or 0.9%, slightly above the growth rate of 0.7% in both 2013 and 2014.

So a better story than in the previous two years.

Employment For Past 5 Year

Employment for Past 5 years

An increasing curve looks nice, but the unemployment graph paints a clearer picture (if the data is still a little peculiar).

Unemployment For Past 5 Years in Canada

Unemployment For Past 5 Years (in Canada)

The following three lines are the telling sentences from the report.

In December, employment rose by 29,000 among people aged 55 and older, and their unemployment rate edged down to 5.8%.

Despite little employment change among people aged 25 to 54, their unemployment rate increased 0.2 percentage points to 6.3% as more of them searched for work.

Employment was also little changed among youths aged 15 to 24 and their unemployment rate was 13.0% in December.

So (as usual) life is good for old guys (like me), but it still kind of sucks for the young folks? I believe Le Dauphin (Mr. Trudeau) will need to do something about his “target audience” employment levels.

One more telling statement in the report is:

The number of public sector employees increased by 41,000 (+1.1%), driven by gains in health care and social assistance and, to a lesser extent, in public administration. At the same time, the number of private sector employees was little changed.

Creating more public sector jobs is not growing the economy, it is growing the government.

Labour News for 2015

Here are some of the posts about jobs from this past year:


Even though Canada is no longer in a recession (by definition) we now found out that the job picture became much gloomier in November.  Stats Canada published their Labour Force Survey for November 2015 on Friday, and their summary is quite clear in terms of how things are going with jobs:

Employment decreased by 36,000 (-0.2%) in November, the result of losses in part-time work. The overall employment decline in November followed a similar-sized increase in October. The unemployment rate increased by 0.1 percentage points to 7.1% in November.

Losses in part-time jobs can happen, but in November? Aren’t there more jobs in retail and such? In case you think there are no puzzling bits of data in the report, there is.

Compared with 12 months earlier, employment increased by 124,000 or 0.7%, with all the growth in full-time work. Over the same period, the number of hours worked grew by 1.1%.

So there are more full-time jobs being done since last year at this time, and there are more hours being worked? Confusing, but still a bit of good news at least.

More people working, but a dip this past month.

Employment Numbers

Employment for Past 5 years

The unemployment graph shows a step up as well.

Unemployment for past 5 years

Unemployment for past 5 years

The telling story for me is the following statement:

In November, employment fell by 24,000 among youths aged 15 to 24.

So fewer young folks with jobs? I guess that stands to reason as they are the ones that work those lost part-time jobs mostly (or am I just rationalizing here).

Tables from the article, which you really should check out, as they are all quite interesting.

Labour News for 2015

Here are some of the posts about jobs from this past year:


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