There was some good news on the Canadian unemployment front today. Statistics Canada released the March labour force survey which showed further progress in lowering the unemployment rate to 7.2 %, a welcome development. Unemployment fell in Ontario to 7.4% and in Quebec to 7.9 % from its previous month level of 8.4 % however the participation rate in Quebec remains below that of Ontario by 1.7 % points 64.8 versus 66.5 %. The participation rate in Alberta where unemployment rose to 5.3 % is a remarkable 74 %. So in terms of dramatically improving the economic situation both Ontario and Quebec still have a long road to travel.
In Manitoba unemployment fell to 5.3 %, Saskatchewan to 4.8 %, B.C. it rose to 7.0 %, Nova Scotia it rose to 8.3 %, New Brunswick to 10.2 %, Newfoundland to 13 % and P.E.I. to 11.3 %. A mixed picture overall but in the two most populous provinces the rate is heading in the right direction.
I am Professor of political economy at Concordia university in Montréal, Québec, Canada. I received my B.A.Hons (econ.&poli sci) from the University of Manitoba. I also completed my M.A. degree in economics there. Went on to spend two years at the London School of Economics as a Ph.D. student in economics and then completed my Ph.D. in political economy at the University of Toronto. Was named a John W.Dafoe fellow, a CMHC fellow and a Canada Council fellow. I also was named a Woodrow Wilson fellow in 1968 after completing my first class honours undergraduate degree. Worked as an economist in the area of education, labour economics and as the senior economist with the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation for the Government of Manitoba from 1972 to 1978. I also have worked as an economic consultant for MDT socio-economic consultants and have been consulted on urban planning, health policy, linguistic duality and public sector finance questions by the governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan,the cities of Regina and Saskatoon, Ontario and the Federal government of Canada. I have also been consulted by senior leaders of the British Labour party, MPs from the Progressive Conservative party, the Liberal party and the New Democrats on economic policy questions. Members of the Government of France under the Presidency of Francois Mitterand discussed my work on public sector deficits. I have also run for elected office at the municipal level. I first began to write about quantitative easing as a useful policy option during the early 1980s.
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