Jobs, jobs, jobs


More in September than in any month since StatsCan started asking the question.

One hardly knows where to begin with the to-be-sures. To be sure, the markets only got truly weird after this survey concluded, so it wouldn’t measure any effects from that. To be sure, a decade of solid budgeting pays dividends lo even unto the next government. To be sure, to some extent these things are beyond the reach of any government.

But if Jean Chrétien had seen job numbers like this four days before asking for re-election, do you think he would have smiled? I think he would have smiled.


Jobs, jobs, jobs

  1. But Paul, everyone is following Chicken Little and the chicken is right this time.

  2. 97,000 of the 107,000 are part-time jobs. I wonder how many of those are second jobs taken to make ends meet?

  3. The latest Labour Force Survey data from Stats Can will not take into account the current financial downturn. But watch the unemployment rates in various CMA’s over the next few months….

  4. Too right Harper is smiling. Between yesterday’s report that Canada’s banks are the soundest in the world, falling gas prices, Dion and his hearing ‘problem’ and now great job numbers, I would think Cons have a lot to smile about after a week of being pummeled.

  5. Harper hasn’t been able to use these figures to his advantage yet. Fiscal monitor showed 2.9 billion surplus in the 1st quarter, World Economic Forum says we are #1 in business paperwork, startup times, and the best place to do banking. IMF says we’re going to grow our economy. 100k+ jobs, etc.

    Yet, I think he’s been really weak at using these numbers in his speeches. He can’t seem to incorporate them into zingers against the opposition, or use them against attacks by Layton. He’s not on his game at all.

    Chretien would have smiled because he’d be using these stats to hit his opponents over the head… Harper doesn’t seem to be able to do that.

  6. WADR, Paul, in these extremely difficult times, it’s not “jobs, jobs, jobs”, but “pensions, pensions, pensions”. (And UIC.)And, with SH’s attack of the means yesterday, which man do you expect to maintain the small-l liberal social safety net?

    (Expect the Conservatives to lose seats in Atlantic Canada.)

  7. 97,000 of these jobs are part-time.


    97,000 of these jobs are part-time.

    Repeat again.

    97,000 of these jobs are part-time.

    And by the way, the unemployment rate didn’t move.

  8. “There’s no poking holes in this report, as Canadian job gains were resoundingly impressive across the board and more than 10 times the pace expected by consensus,” commented economists at Bank of Nova Scotia.

  9. D. Jette,

    The CP reports that “The tight labour market was reflected in a 4.6 per cent year-over-year increase in hourly wages.”

    A 4.6% increase in hourly wages nationally. Almost 200k jobs added so far in 2008.

    You can’t brush that off.

  10. 97,000 jobs part-time out of 107,000 isn’t a hole. It’s a gaping chasm.

    How many are student jobs? How many would have been full-time in another economic context? How many of these people took a part-time job because full-time jobs weren’t available?

  11. Since we’re quoting…

    “Over the first nine months of 2008, employment has increased 1.1% (+194,000), a slower pace of growth compared with 1.7% (+275,000) during the same period last year. With September’s increase, part-time work has increased by 131,000 so far in 2008, nearly double the increase in full time. This contrasts with the first nine months of last year, when gains were mostly full time.”


  12. Fun question: if the economy had lost 97,000 part-time jobs and 10,000 full-time jobs in September, would andy have an easier time making his case this morning?

  13. How many are student jobs?

    I hope a lot. Because if anybody needs a job, it’s students. But good complaint.. those darn students should be wracking up debt and not clogging up our economy with part-time work. Shame on them.

    The part I read says that most of the jobs were in health care. I would guess part-time nurses, X-ray techs, etc. Gee, come to think of it, who needs them either?

  14. Umm, how many of those jobs are with Elections Canada? When all the candidates met with our Returning officer we were told they had to find at least 2 people to work every poll, poll clerk and DRO, as well as numerous others. 170+ polls in my riding, and another 10 to 20 full time fo the duration of the election employees for the Returning officer, and another dozen or more to review the list of electors, per riding(being conservative)times 308 ridings. This doesn’t include those employed directly by the department, nor the people employed by the various parties. All temporary / part time of course.

  15. I’m no economist Paul – but two anecdotal observations…
    If these jobs were in the high growth areas – Alberta / Newfoundland – I would expect them to be mainly fulltime – because they can’t find enough folks to fill the jobs in those areas – and I don’t think anyone would move across the country for just a part-time job….so I’d surmise these are related to cyclical circumstances – like the start of university terms etc. and students picking up work.

    I do know – from connections in the recruiting industry – that even F/T jobs that have been filled (as far as the managers are concerned) are not being formally offered right now – successful recruits are being told to sit tight and be patient…so for sure the numbers in the next month’s report will be well down…

  16. Paul, why don’t you just accuse me of cheering for a recession?

    All I’m saying is that the lede is misleading.

    Jobs are always good, but some jobs are better than others.

  17. From Riley… “I hope a lot. Because if anybody needs a job, it’s students. But good complaint.. those darn students should be wracking up debt and not clogging up our economy with part-time work. Shame on them.”

    Dude, you’re missing the point. Student part-time employment explodes every September, precisely so they don’t have to wrack up debt.

  18. The closer and closer you get to full employment and a tight labour market, the more the use of a phrase like…

    “Over the first nine months of 2008, employment has increased 1.1% (+194,000), a slower pace of growth compared with 1.7% (+275,000) during the same period last year.”

    …betrays an incredible ignorance on the part of the quoter.

    First semester, I got 65% in history class. 2nd semester, 85%, third semester, 92%. What a shockingly dismal “pace of growth” in my marks from S2-3 compared to S1-2…

  19. More fun: this time last year (http://www.statcan.ca/english/freepub/71-001-XIE/71-001-XIE2007009.pdf), we were talking about 32,000 full-time jobs created in the month of September 2007, and 311,000 full-time jobs created over the 12-month period ending Sept. 30, 2007.

    Today, the corresponding full-time job creation numbers are 10,500 in Sept. ’08 and 116,800 over the year ending Sept. 30 ’08.

  20. Nice of Andy to restate the proof of my point within only 3 minutes. Thank you.

  21. Another thing about job numbers. Your economy is supposed to be adding jobs every month because it’s adding new potential workers every month.

    The US has a different methodology for estimating job creation. But their rule of thumb (search the money.cnn.com archive for more info) is that you need 100K-150K jobs created per month – a strong majority of those full-time – just to keep up with population growth.

    I honestly have no idea what the Canadian rule of thumb is. But (for the sake of argument) if the 10:1 rule for US-Canada comparison applies, and you refer to the full-time job growth stats I cited above, then over the past 12 months we’ve basically been treading water.

  22. I’m not re-stating proof of anything. I’m ignoring you.

  23. 15,000 agricultural jobs. Seeing as September is harvest month, I suspect these aren’t permanent. Ditto for the 14,000 construction jobs.

    What I find interesting is 40,000 jobs in health care & social assistance that are mostly part-time. Reading that was a big WTF moment.

    Anything else notice the 41% margin of error?

  24. You can run the numbers anyway you’d like andy. The more you try to spin this into negative news with hypothetical non-comparisons, the harder it is to take you seriously.

    You still haven’t answered Paul’s question: what would you have been saying if the economy shed 97,000 part-time jobs?

  25. Brian asked: “what would you have been saying if the economy shed 97,000 part-time jobs?”

    And six weeks later I answer: if we’d lost 97,000 part-time and 10,000 full-time jobs, nobody would have attempted to spin it as positive, so I probably wouldn’t have felt inspired to pick a fight.

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