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National unemployment rate edged up to 7.2 per cent in January

Just released: The latest numbers from Statistics Canada


 

OTTAWA — Employment growth in Canada sputtered in neutral last month as a net gain in Ontario jobs was offset by significant losses in Alberta — with its most dismal numbers in a decade — and in Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador, Statistics Canada said Friday.

While the national unemployment rate still crept up to 7.2 per cent from 7.1 per cent, more people entered the job market, the agency said in its latest labour force survey.

StatCan says there were 5,700 fewer jobs recorded, but the number was within the survey’s margin of error and not statistically significant.

The report found a nationwide net increase of 19,700 jobs in the services industry only partially made up for the 25,300 net drop in employment in the goods-producing sector. The decline was weighed down by big losses 13,700 positions in agriculture and 11,000 jobs in manufacturing.

By region, the oil-producing provinces of Alberta and Newfoundland were the hardest hit as their job losses climbed amid the severe oil-price slump.

Alberta, the agency said, suffered a net decline of 21,900 full-time positions in January, with the bulk of the decrease concentrated in agriculture and manufacturing. The drop was offset in part by an increase of 11,900 part-time jobs.

The decrease pushed Alberta’s unemployment rate to 7.4 per cent — its highest level since February 1996. The rate was seven per cent a month earlier.

It marked the first time Alberta’s unemployment rate was higher than the national rate since December 1988, the report said.

Meanwhile, Newfoundland showed a net decrease of 2,400 jobs — knocking employment down 3.1 per cent compared to the year before.

Manitoba lost 5,300 net jobs last month — an 0.8 per cent month-to-month drop compared to December.

CIBC chief economist Avery Shenfeld said the StatCan survey results amounted to a “weak report.”

“Canada’s job prospects are only just catching up to the malaise in the rest of the economy,” Shenfeld wrote in a note to clients. “Not surprisingly, it’s oil-centred Alberta where the bad news is hitting hardest.”

The agency said Ontario was the only province to show significant growth last month as it added 19,800 net positions, including 16,300 full-time jobs. Compared to a year earlier, Ontario showed a net gain of 100,200 jobs, an increase of 1.5 per cent.

The jobs data also showed that self-employed positions fell by 20,200 last month, while the net number of employee jobs increased by 14,500.

Statistics Canada also released the latest figures Friday on international merchandise trade.

It showed that Canada’s trade balance for December was negative $585 million, as total exports rose 3.9 per cent compared to November and imports climbed 1.6 per cent.

Here’s what happened provincially (previous month in brackets):

Newfoundland and Labrador 14.4 per cent (14.4)

Prince Edward Island 9.5 (9.8)

Nova Scotia 8.5 (8.6)

New Brunswick 9.3 (8.9)

Quebec 7.6 (7.9)

Ontario 6.7 (6.7)

Manitoba 6.1 (5.9)

Saskatchewan 5.6 (5.5)

Alberta 7.4 (7.0)

British Columbia 6.6 (6.7)

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National unemployment rate edged up to 7.2 per cent in January

  1. I have jobs ideas. It is based on being a role model for the world and leading the world to a 22nd century utopia. The gvmt of Chretien and predecessors was headed there but was weak on preventing future WMDs. The latter is now my strength thx to some out of this world advice.
    1) We should get off oil to prevent too much AGW. I suggest a refinery in AB and a series of plastic businesses federally funded. Ideally the bizs would be green or useful to this blueprint (this marketing would be as good for AB as for S.Arabia). A Wave Power prototype I saw uses plastic undersea pipes. Plastic is a component in the EMF shielding I’ve seen in hack-proof computer moulds…this will create more jobs that pay less than does oil as fuel. Given there are many long-lived investments in petro lands, it should be about breakeven from their Q-of-L point of view.
    2) We should act to prevent AI. This means no diamond computers. This means no drone mission creep. We could lump in robot army defenses here. This is consulting jobs.
    3) We should make mental health a platform. All CBAs and gvmt positions should be based on mental health as a prerequisite for holding power. This will require funding new brain technologies (superior to EEGs), new training of psychiatrists to use technology, and more psychiatry funding in general. Perhaps mentally healthy gated communities can be dangled as a carrot to pay for taxes.
    4) We should stop synthetic biology research, and stop eating chickens. We should prepare lithium power sources for our citizens as well as civil defense military units. We should fund fake protein agriculture and give farmer bioreactors for such.
    5) We should ensure the best people get hired for the best jobs. Make CBA and Union and corporate and gvmt top tier officials all merit-based. This will require learning what is merit-based. For example, the USA business schools are inferior to ours as they don’t include value-chain analysis in their economics. Q-of-L is the key goal but this includes defeating actors and platforms that do not care about this world much. There is a lot of foreign aid best practices to fund here. Stopping the UK’s synthetic biology research might count as foreign aid.
    6) A goal of the CSA should be to get a mentally healthy colony going that is free from pandemic and AI research. Perhaps the far side of Saturn. This will involve a new brain imaging technology and new chains of command. If the Sun explodes it will survive. Earth’s C-of-C will copy its best practices. I like a wave pool for astronauts and wave power and maybe ship-building.

    Becoming the world leader in mental health research will make our economy the very best on Earth and wherever else. It is better than the Klondike economic experiment we tried for a decade, an experiment that didn’t cure ill will (AB and SK are the reason transporting energy is a Provincial file; MB was happy to let it be federal). I don’t know who will fund the AB refinery now that AB didn’t save much, I suppose it should be funded to run without a lot of staff in case of pandemic.

  2. All things considered, not so bad then? It’s certainly entertaining to hear the wild panic in Alberta having fallen below the national average for the first time in 20 years but still out and front of 5 other provinces. It seems that Trudeau needs to load up the trucks with cash and send them west damn fast to deal with this ‘tragedy’. It would be nice if Ontario could pick up the slack but after the oil patch hoovered up 25-30% of all capital investment year after year, manufacturing and knowledge based business are somewhat under-capitalized and will need time to ramp up. Newfoundland’s losses are only partly due to low oil prices (as suggested by the article): declining reserves and production capacity also have a lot to do with it while workers returning from vanishing jobs in Alberta drive up unemployment numbers down east.

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