Unemployment rates in Canada and U.S. show modest improvement

The latest news on unemployment is moderately positive. The headline rates are down. But the number of new employees in the U.S. was smaller than expected. Here below courtesy of the U.S. Bureau of Labour statistics is the monthly evidence of growing employment since the beginning of the recovery period.In addition to the headline rate falling the broader measure of unemployment also fell from 13.1 % to 12.7%. In April of 2010 it was 17.1 %. This is a good sign. It needs to fall much further but the trend now seems positive if still somewhat hesitant. Unfortunately the fall in federal government employment by 12,000 -a total loss of 85,000 over the past year is not helpful and evidence that the sequestration is hindering the recovery.3.6 million Americans have been unemployed for more than 27 weeks. This number has also declined in January. But, of course, it still remains too high.

In Canada unemployment dropped in the two largest provinces Ontario and Quebec, also a good sign. It needs to drop further if the recovery is to avoid stalling out.The rate of unemployment was 7.5% in both provinces. This compares with 12.0% in Newfoundland, 11.3% in PEI, 8.6% in Nova Scotia 9.9% in New Brunswick, 5.6% in Manitoba,4.3% in Saskatchewan, Alberta 4.6% and B.C.6.4 %.

U.S. Monthly gains or losses in employment 2004 to Jan. 2014 in 1000s
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2004 161 44 332 249 307 74 32 132 162 346 65 129
2005 134 239 134 363 175 245 373 196 67 84 337 159
2006 277 315 280 182 23 77 207 184 157 2 210 171
2007 238 88 188 78 144 71 -33 -16 85 82 118 97
2008 15 -86 -80 -214 -182 -172 -210 -259 -452 -474 -765 -697
2009 -798 -701 -826 -684 -354 -467 -327 -216 -227 -198 -6 -283
2010 18 -50 156 251 516 -122 -61 -42 -57 241 137 71
2011 70 168 212 322 102 217 106 122 221 183 164 196
2012 360 226 243 96 110 88 160 150 161 225 203 214
2013 197 280 141 203 199 201 149 202 164 237 274 75(P)
2014 113(P)
P : preliminary

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About haroldchorneyeconomist

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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