Categories

A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

The Progressive Economics Forum: Enumerating Homeless Persons

Over at the web site of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, I’ve written a blog post titled “Ten things to know about Canadian attempts to count homeless persons through Point-in-Time Counts.”

Points I raise in the post include the following:

-Efforts to enumerate homeless persons in Canada often have mixed objectives. In part, an attempt is . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Enumerating Homeless Persons

The Progressive Economics Forum: Job Vacancies

Congratulations to Statscan on the occasion of the first release from the National Job Vacancy and Wage Survey, with data for the first quarter of this year. The survey received funding from HRSDC to put some hard numbers on job vacancies, and the first tranche of data are impressively granular, providing detail on vacancies at . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Job Vacancies

The Progressive Economics Forum: Self-Employment Masks Job Loss

Statistics Canada reported today that employers cut the number of employees by 98,000 in August, which was largely masked by 87,000 more Canadians identifying themselves as self-employed. As a result, the headline level of “employment” – which includes self-employment – was little changed.

Self-employment ranges from high-income professionals to people eking out a living doing . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Self-Employment Masks Job Loss

The Progressive Economics Forum: Revised LFS Numbers Don’t Change the Big Picture

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 . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Revised LFS Numbers Don’t Change the Big Picture

The Progressive Economics Forum: EI Falls as Unemployment Rises

Statistics Canada reported today that the number of people receiving Employment Insurance (EI) benefits fell by 12,070 in May – the largest drop in nearly two years. (The last time Statistics Canada records indicate a larger decrease was 12,670 in July 2012.)

This substantial decline in EI benefits comes as unemployment is rising. The Labour . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: EI Falls as Unemployment Rises

The Progressive Economics Forum: More People Chase Fewer Jobs

Further to Angella’s excellent analysis:

Statistics Canada reported today that unemployment jumped by 25,700 in June because of shrinking employment and a growing labour force. Canada’s labour force expanded because of population growth, even though the participation rate did not increase. The combination of less employment and a larger working-age population depressed the employment rate . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: More People Chase Fewer Jobs

The Progressive Economics Forum: Jobs Up, But Hours Flat

On the surface, today’s employment numbers simply continue a recent trend: employers added some jobs but not enough to keep pace with Canada’s growing labour force. As a result, unemployment edged back up to 7%.

But just below the surface were some even worse developments. Employers actually cut 29,000 full-time positions while adding 55,000 part-time . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Jobs Up, But Hours Flat

The Progressive Economics Forum: Huge Jump in Ontario EI Claims

Statistics Canada reported today that the number of Canadians filing Employment Insurance (EI) claims rose by 10,350 or 4.5 per cent in March, the largest monthly increase since the start of 2013.

This national increase was driven by a jump of 9,480 or 12.9 per cent in Ontario, the largest monthly increase in the province . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Huge Jump in Ontario EI Claims

The Progressive Economics Forum: Labour Market Data Sitting on a Shelf

The Globe and Mail reports that the results of the Workplace Survey have sat on a shelf for two years due to cuts at Statistics Canada and a lack of funding from Employment and Social Development Canada.

This, while the Minister for ESDC says that Canada’s labour market information is inadequate and “we need better . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Labour Market Data Sitting on a Shelf

The Progressive Economics Forum: Flaherty’s Legacy: Ideological, reckless and just plain lucky

This piece was originally published at the Globe and Mail’s online Report on Business feature, EconomyLab.

There are two reasons why it is difficult to comment on the legacy of a finance minister.

1) It is a tremendously challenging job, anywhere, any time. Stewarding one of the largest economies in the world through a . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Flaherty’s Legacy: Ideological, reckless and just plain lucky

The Progressive Economics Forum: StatCan Reports Fewest Vacant Jobs on Record

Statistics Canada reported today that there were only 199,700 vacant jobs in December 2013, the fewest recorded since it first reported these figures for March 2011.

Statistics Canada began tracking job vacancies in response to claims of a labour shortage by governments and corporate Canada. But the number of vacancies falling below 200,000 casts further . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: StatCan Reports Fewest Vacant Jobs on Record

The Progressive Economics Forum: Canada’s Job Market: Slower, Lower, Weaker

The following commentary on yesterday’s job numbers is quoted in today’s National Post (page FP4):

The Olympic motto may be “Faster, Higher, Stronger,” but Canada’s employment growth is slower, lower and weaker going into the winter games.

Of the 29,000 Canadians who supposedly gained employment in January, 28,000 reported being self-employed. Only 1,000 found jobs . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Canada’s Job Market: Slower, Lower, Weaker

The Progressive Economics Forum: Canada’s Luxury Index is through the roof

Numbers season is over but good inequality data is still missing. January sees us regularly bombarded with a whole range of economic statistics about the previous year. GDP growth: likely 1.7%, low but looking brighter for next year. Unemployment: 7.2%, low but lots of workers leaving the job market altogether as the employment rate stagnates. . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Canada’s Luxury Index is through the roof

The Progressive Economics Forum: Dutch Disease, Prices and Wages in Saskatchewan

Jim Stanford recently pointed out that many of the conservative economists who had defended the overvalued loonie have quickly shifted to applauding its depreciation.

The Government of Saskatchewan may be making a similar conversion on the road to Damascus. When federal NDP leader Tom Mulcair expressed concern about Dutch disease, premier Brad Wall denied that . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Dutch Disease, Prices and Wages in Saskatchewan

The Progressive Economics Forum: 2013 Left Us Wanting More … Jobs

The December jobs report was a spectacular finish (not in a good way) to a rather discouraging year for the Canadian labour market. When the dust had settled, it turned out that employment growth averaged 8,500 per month in 2013, compared with 25,900 in 2012.

This anaemic job growth was not enough to keep up . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: 2013 Left Us Wanting More … Jobs

The Progressive Economics Forum: StatCan Debunks Small-Business Mythology

Canadian economic commentators often worship small business as the supposed source of economic dynamism and growth. This cult of small business has greatly influenced public policy, with federal and provincial governments giving huge tax preferences to small corporations.

But new Statistics Canada research finds: “The gap between the levels of labour productivity in Canada and . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: StatCan Debunks Small-Business Mythology

The Progressive Economics Forum: A Part-Time, Do-It-Yourself Job Market

Statistics Canada reported that employment grew by 22,000 in November. But 20,000 of those new jobs were part-time. The proportion of all Canadian jobs that are part-time rose to an even 19%.

Broken down another way, 19,000 of the employment increase were people reporting themselves as self-employed. Canadian employers actually hired fewer than 3,000 additional . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: A Part-Time, Do-It-Yourself Job Market

The Progressive Economics Forum: Black Friday GDP: Consumption Slows, But Inventories Jump

Ironically, Statistics Canada’s third-quarter GDP report on Black Friday showed the growth rate of consumption being cut in half. Final consumption expenditure grew by 0.4% in the third quarter compared to 0.8% in the second quarter.

Household spending growth fell to 0.6% from 0.9%. Government consumption growth plummeted to 0.1% from 0.4%. In other words, . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Black Friday GDP: Consumption Slows, But Inventories Jump

The Progressive Economics Forum: Job Market Stuck in a Rut

The words “little change” appear eight times in today’s Statistics Canada press release on the Labour Force Survey.

The figures for October are indeed remarkably similar to September. This lack of change might be viewed as welcome stability in better economic times, but it has to be regarded as stagnation given the actual state of . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Job Market Stuck in a Rut

The Progressive Economics Forum: Fossil-Fueled GDP Growth

Yesterday, Statistics Canada reported that the Canadian economy had a month of fossil-fueled growth in August.

Overall GDP was up by 0.3%, only half as much as in July but still a respectable monthly growth rate. By far the strongest growth of any industry was a 1.9% increase in “Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Fossil-Fueled GDP Growth

The Progressive Economics Forum: When a Lower Unemployment Rate is Bad News

Today, Statistics Canada reported an unemployment rate of 6.9% for September. One might have expected Canada’s unemployment rate falling below 7% for the first time since 2008 to be cause for celebration.

But as Statistics Canada noted, the decline in official unemployment reflected youth dropping out of the job market rather than any notable increase . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: When a Lower Unemployment Rate is Bad News

The Progressive Economics Forum: Sask. Party Spin Outstrips Population Growth

Sask. Party spin appears to be growing even faster than the province’s population. Today’s Saskatchewan government news release quotes Premier Wall as saying, “We have the strongest job growth and lowest unemployment in Canada.”

By what measure does Saskatchewan have the strongest job growth? Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey indicates that employment grew by 2.9 . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Sask. Party Spin Outstrips Population Growth

The Progressive Economics Forum: Inflation Slump Validates Low Interest Rates

Today, Statistics Canada reported inflation of 1.1% for August, even lower than June and July. But even at this anemic level, inflation is eating up three-quarters of wage gains. The Labour Force Survey indicates that Canada’s average hourly wage rose by only 1.5% between August 2012 and August 2013.

Subdued inflation and the weak job . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Inflation Slump Validates Low Interest Rates

The Progressive Economics Forum: Black Day for EI in July

Today, Statistics Canada reported a large monthly drop of 10,900 for July in the number of Canadians receiving regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. Its press release noted, “This decline brings the number of beneficiaries to a level similar to that observed before the start of the labour-market downturn in 2008.”

But the number of unemployed . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Black Day for EI in July

The Progressive Economics Forum: NHS fails low incomes–and Canadians

Unfortunately the following note to readers from today’s release of the third and final set of data from the National Household Survey by Statistics Canada speaks for itself:

Note to readers Comparability of low-income estimates

Low-income estimates from the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS) compared with previous censuses show markedly different trends than those derived . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: NHS fails low incomes–and Canadians