The Bank of Canada surprised most analysts this week when it decided to cut rates by 25 basis points. The move comes after the price of oil has tumbled below $50 / barrel, oil producers announced huge cuts to business investment for 2015, Target announced a mass layoff of 17,600 workers in Canada, and the International Monetary Fund warned of a global economic slowdown.
The key message of the January Monetary Policy is that the Canadian economy needs stimulus. The Bank’s view of the Canadian economy stands in sharp contrast to that of the federal government, which is intent on (Read more…)
Justin Trudeau’s views on key issues do not represent the real change Canadians will be seeking during the 2015 federal election, says Maude Barlow.
The post Maude Barlow: Five questions for Justin Trudeau, a year later appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
Last week my Unifor colleague Jordan Brennan and I published a study through the CCPA Ontario office examining the historical empirical evidence regarding the link between changes in minimum wages and employment outcomes. We find there is no robust evidence in Canadian historical data that increases in real minimum wages cause either lower employment or higher unemployment, even when we focus on key segments of the labour market that are most reliant on low-wage labour (including youth and the retail and hospitality sectors).
The full study, titled Dispelling Minimum Wage Mythology: The Minimum Wage and the Impact on Jobs in (Read more…)
Today Statistics Canada released their first set of job numbers since the ‘oops’ of July 2014. And the news was dismal. The labour market shed 112,000 private sector positions, the largest single month drop in the private sector since, well, forever. Coming on the heels of a mistake is unfortunate, but you have to think that Statistics Canada was extra vigilant this month and checked everything up, down, backwards, and sideways.
Either way, month to month variations are far less meaningful than overall trends, so let’s have a look at those, shall we?
Only workers over 55 have (Read more…)
What a rough week it’s been over at Statistics Canada. It’s a world-renowned statistical agency — though its lustre has been tarnished in recent years by budget cuts, cancelled data programs and series, and the nonsense of the Harper government’s libertarian crusade against the long form census. The problems this week around its Labour Force Survey report for July will certainly contribute to the sense of entropy surrounding this important and valuable institution.
The biggest change in the numbers is that full-time employment is now estimated to have declined by about 20,000, instead of the original 60,000. (Read more…)
Much is being made of a decision by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) managers at Toronto’s Pearson airport to allow a small group of Hindu priests to avoid screening by female border guards to comply with their religious beliefs.
Apparently some female CBSA officers feel that they were discriminated against by this decision. I could understand an outrage if female officers were only allowed
Statistics Canada’s release of job numbers for June look truly dismal. The unemployment rate rose to 7.1%, and there was a loss of 9,400 jobs compared to May. Year over year, employment rose by only 72,000. That’s a weak 0.4% and the lowest year-over-year increase since February 2010.
An even worse sign – all of that job growth was concentrated in workers over 65. One industry boasted over 80% of net new jobs year-over-year – health care and social assistance.
While there was an increase in full-time work and a a decline in part-time jobs, total hours worked (Read more…)
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives examined the rise of temporary agency work in British Columbia, proposes reforms to better protect workers.
The post Temporary agency workers struggling with low pay and economic insecurity: CCPA report appeared first on THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE.
Erin has already commented that the tiny silver lining of 26,000 net new jobs in May covers a net loss of full-time jobs. In fact, if you compare this May to May 2013, we see that all of the net job gain in the past 12 months is part-time work too.
To look at the trends, I broke down employment growth since October 2008 into part-time and full-time jobs. This shows that full-time job growth has been pretty much stagnant since January 2013.
While we expect to see stronger growth in part time work earlier in a recovery, here we (Read more…)
The controversy regarding the mathematical errors in the Ontario PCs’ “million jobs plan” went viral last week, after a critical mass of economists weighed in to confirm that the party had indeed badly misinterpreted the findings (by as much as 8 times over) of their own consultants’ studies. This sparked a firestorm of media coverage, inspired the Globe and Mail’s Adrian Morrow to rename the Tory campaign bus (now called “The Million Person-Years Express”), and spawned a satiric hashtag (#Hudak8) that trended on Twitter.
The damage to the centrepiece of the Tory platform is serious, although (Read more…)
Further to my post yesterday about how the Ontario PCs have vastly overstated their own consultants’ estimates of the number of jobs produced by their various policy proposals (including lower corporate taxes, lower electricity prices, interprovincial free trade, and regulatory reduction), some have asked me about precisesly how the Conference Board report simulated the corporate tax reduction I was discussing.
At the bottom of p.8, their report (available on-line here) indicates they are simulating a reduction in corporate taxes of 1 percent of the corresponding tax base (ie. pre-tax corporate profits), which is equivalent to a one-point reduction (Read more…)
When Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak kicked off the current election campaign with a plan to “create a million new jobs” in Ontario, he tried to dress up the platform launch with a certain scientific respectability. The party released a “technical backgrounder” showing the precise composition of the million new jobs, along with two commissioned consultants’ reports that were said to justify the estimates contained in the plan.
I cannot find either the backgrounder or the consultant reports on the PC site (perhaps, as you read on, you will agree there is good reason for this), but they were circulated widely (Read more…)
Today the Ontario Federation of Labour and CUPE Ontario published calculations I prepared of how Ontario Conservative leader Tim Hudak’s promise to eliminate 100,000 public sector jobs will be felt at the local level, on cities and communities across the province.
The original OFL release provides info on the magnitude of these impacts for the 15 largest census metropolitan areas across Ontario, for which labour force survey figures are available, a second release has the impacts for smaller communities, while CUPE Ontario has put a map on-line that shows the impact for all the metro areas and a number of smaller cities and towns (or “census (Read more…)
My post last week on the continuing decline in the employment rate in Canada (to below 61.5% in April, barely higher than the low point reached in the 2008-09 recession) has sparked some continuing discussion about the role of demographic change in explaining that decline (as opposed to a shortage of labour demand).
Is the decline in the employment rate due to weak labour market conditions, or is it due to the ageing of the workforce (as a result of which a larger share of the working age population consists of people in older age categories which normally have (Read more…)
Today’s labour force numbers are ugly, there’s no other word for it. Employment down 29,000 jobs. Paid employment (ie. not counting self-employment) down 46,000 jobs. The only reason the unemployment rate held steady (at 6.9%) is because labour force participation fell again: by almost 2 tenths of a point, to just over 66%. That’s the lowest level of labour force participation since 2001. Convenient for suppressing the headline unemployment rate, but socially destructive and very costly in the long-run (as more and more Canadians lose contact with the labour market).
In a weak macroeconomy, (Read more…)
It was almost too painful to watch: Tim Hudak and top Conservative luminaries kicked off their campaign for the 2014 Ontario election in a Toronto music recording studio. Problem: that studio (like others in the business) is supported in part by recording and production industry grants from the provincial government — exactly the kind of “corporate welfare” that Mr. Hudak routinely rails against. Reporters asked about this seeming contradiction, and after a couple of kicks at the can Mr. Hudak abruptly walked off the stage — leaving his confused host (studio owner and former rocker Gil Moore) standing (Read more…)
By Joe Fantauzzi @jjfantauzziKey Findings and Recommendations:- Between 2003 and 2012, the number of temporary foreign workers admitted to Canada jumped from 102,932 to 213,573 — a difference of 107.5%.- Inquests are mandatory in Ontario when an on-the-job accident kills a worker employed at “a construction project, mining plant or mine, including a pit or quarry” — but not in the course of agricultural work.- Effective collective bargaining must be extended to migrant workers by Parliament.- Public health benefits must be extended to workers injured in the course of their work even after (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Illuminated By Street Lamps: Temporary Foreign Workers: What Canada Must Do To Protect A Vulnerable Labour Class
Yet another report, this time by SFU Public Policy Professor Dominique M. Gross, finds evidence that Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program is bad for domestic workers. The report looks at BC and Alberta specifically and concludes that the expansion of the TFW program between 2007 and 2010 resulted in an increase in unemployment levels by 4.8 percentage points in BC and 3.1 percentage points in Alberta. You can read the full report here or see Tara Carman’s article about it in the Vancouver Sun here.
This report confirms what I found in my recent CCPA report, BC Jobs (Read more…)
As Armine has pointed out recently, women play a key role in economic recoveries: (She says it so well, I have to quote her directly:)
Every recession is a “he-cession”: men lose more jobs than women in a downturn because the first thing to slow is the production in goods-producing industries that are typically male-dominated (mining, forestry, construction, manufacturing). Every early stage of recovery is a “she-covery”: men who lose $30 an hour jobs wince at accepting $15 an hour offers, but women grab them to make sure the bills get paid.
This shows up in the underemployment rate, which (Read more…)
Alex Usher, one of Canada’s most well-known post-secondary education pundits, has just written a blog post offering some sober second thought on Minister Kenney’s recent enthusiasm for Germany’s apprenticeship system.
Mr. Usher’s blog post can be accessed here.
Given that the 2014 Federal Budget talked a lot about youth unemployment, but didn’t actually do very much, I thought it would be worth going over a few trends for the 20-29 age group.
Young workers are usually hit harder by recessions, and this most recent recession was no different. You can see significant spikes in unemployment rates during recessions in the graph below. Also notice that unemployment rates were much higher in the 1981 and 1990 recessions than they are for this one.
That doesn’t mean that everything is OK now. Alongside trends in unemployment rates are changing contexts. (Read more…)