Brian Lee Crowley’s latest column shows he’s a glass-half-full kinda guy. We shouldn’t be worried about unemployment because a) it’s old-fashioned, b) Boomers had it worse (and now they’re getting old) c) we’re doing better than the U.S., and d) it’s really only young people and immigrants that are unemployed.
This is a relief.
So I shouldn’t worry that Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey indicates that real average hourly wages have risen by only twenty cents between 2009 and 2012 (an annualized growth rate of 0.3%). Or, that at the same time, real median hourly wages have (Read more…) fallen, indicating that any wage growth is limited to a few at the top end.
Crowley cites vague evidence from internet job advertisements to point out that the number of jobs going unfilled are rising fast.
That’s good news for Canada’s 1.3 million job seekers. They had been discouraged by Statistics . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Crowley’s Red Hot Labour Market
Below is the summary for our latest Climate Justice Project report, Closing the Loop: Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Creating Green Jobs through Zero Waste in BC (I recommend checking the much prettier full paper, stand-alone summary, and awesome infographic by Sam Bradd on the website). Closing the Loop was a complex and challenging project that made my head spin, but in the end is one I am really proud of. For me it puts in place a key foundational piece of the Climate Justice Project, and bridges the ecological economics that I had first encountered in grad school two decades ago with all of the
. . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Closing the Loop: Zero Waste, GHG Emissions and Green Jobs in BC
The Nova Scotia provincial government is set to introduce its promised balanced budget this year. The Nova Scotia Alternative Budget, released today, proposes some concrete choices rooted in Nova Scotia communities. Rather than pay down debt, the NS-APB prioritizes balancing the social debt threatening Nova Scotia.
Can a budget really be considered balanced when unemployment is 9.3%, and 47,000 Nova Scotians are ready, willing, and actively looking for work that isn’t there?
The recent recession hit some parts of Canada harder than others, and Nova Scotia is still feeling the effects. The Nova Scotia economy has picked up
. . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Back to Balance in Nova Scotia
By: Kate McInturff | Behind The Numbers: The Finance Minister got a new pair of shoes. Canadians got a new federal budget. And women in Canada got another haircut. Budget 2013 is all about Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! And who wouldn’t like a job. Maybe some training. Maybe even a full-time job. [...]
The post New Shoes and a Haircut: Budget 2013 not so pretty for women in Canada appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
When the federal Lobbying Act came into force in 2008, Vic Toews, then the President of the Treasury Board, declared the legislation “increased accountability in Ottawa” and provided “a more open and transparent government for all Canadians.” The law, Mr. Toews added, would give Canadians more information about who is attempting to influence public policy.Not everyone agrees. Award-winning business journalist Andrew Nikiforuk has called the Lobbying Act “ineffectual” because, among other reasons, it does not require corporations to explain publicly how much money they are spending on their lobbying efforts.Clearly, there
. . . → Read More: Illuminated By Street Lamps: Canadian lobbyists. Who They Are and What They Do.
What not to say in an interview if you’re on EI, and other nightmares
The latest detail to emerge about the recent changes to EI is from the Digest of Benefit Entitlement Principles. The Digest is a guide to enforcing Employment Insurance, with definitions of key terms, and elaborates on expectations of EI claimants and penalties for errors.
In Chapter 9, Refusal of Employment, Service Canada outlines several actions that are equivalent to refusing employment.
Section 9.2.3 states that “a refusal of employment occurs where the claimant advises the employer that they are available for only a limited (Read more…)
The glaring contrast between employment numbers, and the unemployment rate, was highlighted by today’s labour force numbers from Statistics Canada (capably dissected elsewhere on this blog by Angella MacEwan).
Paid employment (ie. employees) declined by 46,000. Total employment (including self-employment) fell by 22,000. Yet the unemployment rate fell to 7% — its lowest level since late 2008.
Fewer people were working, yet the unemployment rate declined. What gives?
Especially during times of economic weakness, the official unemployment rate is a bad measure of the state of the overall labour market, for familiar reasons: to qualify as (Read more…)
After five months of job gains, the job market turned dismal in January. Officially, the unemployment rate fell from 7.1% to 7.0%, the lowest it’s been since December 2008. This is despite a loss of 45,800 jobs (not counting self-employment). The explanation is an out flux of discouraged workers from the labour market, which caused the ‘real’ unemployment rate (R8) to jump from 9.4% to 10.7%.
Gains in self-employment masked the job losses, as there was an increase of nearly 24,000 self-employed persons in January, for an official loss of 22,000, nearly all in full-time positions. Ontario suffered
. . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Job Market Worsens in January
Testimony to the Joint Review Panel on the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project
By Marc Lee, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives January 16, 2013
My name is Marc Lee, and I have served as an economist for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives for more than 14 years. Most recently I have been Senior Economist and the Co-Director of the Climate Justice Project, a multi-year SSHRC-funded research project with the University of British Columbia, in collaboration with a large team of academics and community groups.
A year ago, Natural Resource Minister Joe Oliver’s open letter stated that the Northern Gateway Pipeline
. . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Marc’s Enbridge Testimony
This article was published in an abridged form today in the National Post. http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/12/21/armine-yalnizyan-sorry-andrew-coyne-but-income-inequality-is-a-real-problem/ I like this opening better so I posted it here.
You couldn’t have made it through 2012 without running into a story about income inequality. Chances are, it made you think about how you fit into the story. That’s “entirely constructive”, as Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney called the awakening triggered by the global Occupy movement.
A year later, some people think it’s time you go back to sleep. A new debate is emerging in Canada: is inequality worth discussing at
. . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Why The Income Inequality Deniers Are Wrong
As we close out 2012, BC finds itself in some precarious economic waters. To recap, a massive housing bubble that built up through the naughties (2000s) finally burst in 2008, feeding a financial crisis, as extremely loose (some would say fraudulent) lending practices pushed housing prices up to spectacular, never-seen-before levels, and created a plague of toxic mortgage-based assets. The inevitable collapse of that bubble triggered our current context of depression economics; that is, a major drop in the value of housing assets on the balance sheets of many millions, making people poorer and undercutting their other consumption (in the
. . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: State of the BC Economy
The Fall Economic Update was hosted this week by the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce. It seems Minister Flaherty wanted to be sure of friendly faces when he announced that the 2012-2013 budget deficit will likely be $5-$7 billion higher than forecast in March. The reason for the higher deficit is that nominal GDP will be [...] . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Stay the course
The annual Employment Insurance Coverage Survey is out, here. The rate of eligibility for regular benefits from Employment Insurance is the lowest since 2003, the earliest year that there is comparable data.
To qualify, a person must have worked in the past 12 months and contributed to Employment Insurance, they must have left their job for a valid reason (layoff is valid, quitting usually is not), and they must have worked between 420 & 700 hours depending on the unemployment rate in their region.
The reason for the lower eligibility rate in 2011 was an increase in the number of workers without
. . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Fewer Unemployed Eligible for Benefits
The Harper government likes to remind Canadians that we’ve done better than most developed nations in bouncing back from the global economic crisis. But digging into the data shows why many people might be having trouble cheering this news: wages have not kept pace with inflation, and new hires are making 40 per cent less than the average worker.
Tiff Macklem, senior deputy governor of the Bank of Canada, recently brought home the official storyline: The level of employment is now higher than it was before the crisis; jobs are mostly being created in the private sector, most are full-time
. . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Welcome to the Wageless Recovery
I have an oped in Saturday’s Vancouver Sun. The editor wanted me to focus on the claims of economic gains for BC, so the piece ended up being a complementary piece to the Behind the Numbers report on GHG emissions and the Natural Gas Strategy. The title was his choice not my own, but I like it.
Natural gas strategy nothing more than a fairy tale: Economic benefits for ordinary British Columbians will be minuscule, environmental costs high
BC’s quest to substantially boost natural gas development seems like a real winner at first glance: heaps of new jobs in the
. . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: BC’s Natural Gas Strategy nothing more than a fairy tale
Last week, the CCPA released a report (authored by yours truly) about youth un- and underemployment in Canada. It showed that, while youth unemployment in Canada is not insubstantial – 14.1% in 2011, up from 12.9% in 2006 – it’s still “low” compared to other OECD countries. In Greece, for example, the rate was 44.4% [...]
In several previous posts, I’ve made passing reference to the idea that every generation doubts or outright disparages the “work ethic” of the one following it into the workforce. Conducting some preliminary research for my next project on the concept of “productivity”, I came across some hard evidence for my claim. It’s not earth shattering, but I’m [...]
Miles Corak has a great post up about Paul Krugman’s “favourite gauge” of unemployment, the employment rate. Looking at the ratio of employed to population for working age men, he shows that the employment recovery in Canada appears to have stalled, moving very little since January 2011.
The graph below shows youth unemployment (right axis) and employment (left axis) from January 2007. In August 2012, youth unemployment was 14.8% – an improvement of 1.6 percentage points since the peak of the recession. The youth employment rate in August, however, was actually at its lowest point since the recession
Last May federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said there was no such thing as a bad job. The Law Commission of Ontario may disagree.
This week it put out a report about the rise in vulnerable workers and precarious jobs. Now that he’s heard from executives who think Canadians are paid too much, Mr. Flaherty should consider the other side of the story, and the suggested fix.
Most of us rely on our jobs as our main form of economic security, but gradually the market has been shifting away from jobs offering reliable incomes and benefits.
More than 1
. . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: The Right Response to “No Job Is A Bad Job”
Green Jobs US.jpg
Since President Obama took office, industry-funded think tanks and faux grassroots organizations, along with oil-friendly politicians have been collectively demanding to know “where are the jobs?” And with last month’s jobs report showing an increase in the U.S. unemployment rate (even though there was a net job gain for the month, making 28 consecutive months of private sector job growth) it would be unwise for any politician seeking national office to attack programs to put Americans back to work. But Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is doing exactly that.
On the campaign
. . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: Romney’s New Campaign Strategy: Attack Green Jobs During Massive Unemployment
As a follow-up to my last post, where I showed R7 – the unemployment rate that includes involuntary part-time, I was curious what the longer term trend was regarding youth and part-time employment.
As you can see in the graph below, the proportion of 20-24 year olds engaged in full-time work has steadily fallen since 1980, accelerated during recessions. This is in contrast to 25-34 year olds whose full-time employment rate falls during recessions, but increases between them.
And, as you might expect, the proportion of 20-24 year olds engaged in part-time work has increased steadily over the same period,
I always come back from the annual CEA/PEF meetings highly energized by the companionship of so many other fine committed PEF members, and our success in engaging with the broader profession. This past weekend’s meetings in Calgary were no exception. A highlight, of course, was the 3rd Biennial Galbraith Lecture delivered by Mike McCracken, CEO and Chair of Informetrica, Inc., who made a great personal commitment to travel to Calgary to receive his John Kenneth Galbraith Prize for Economics and Social Justice.
Mike’s lecture, to a packed room (that included many luminaries from the mainsteram of the
. . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Galbraith Lecture by Mike McCracken