The August job numbers are out. Statistics Canada reports that 54,000 full time new jobs were added but they were largely matched by a loss of 42,000 part time jobs. The net result was to bump up the national unemployment rate to 7.0 % In Quebec unemployment rose 0.3% points to 8.0 %. The rate in Ontario was 6.8 %.also up 0.4% points from last month.Unemployment remained at 6.0% in Alberta. So far in 2015 unemployment has risen by 1.3 % points there.It is likely to grow worse as the downturn in the oil patch spreads and jobs are lost in the industry. Unemployment remained at 6.0% in B.C. As usual the participation rates vary widely across the country. In Alberta 72.8%; Saskatchewan 69.6%; and Manitoba 68.1 % These rates are considerably higher than in Quebec 65.0% and Ontario 65.3% or the Atlantic provinces.N.B. 62.6 % Nova Scotia 62.2 ;Newfoundland &Labrador 61.2%. In B.C. the participation rate is 63.3% well below that of neighbouring Alberta.
The employment results are being spun as positive by business economists on Bay street but they don’t strike me that way. Any time the national unemployment rate rises to 7.0 % thats not good news. It will definitely add to the debate over economic policy during the election.If this develops into a trend with another rise in September it will add to the argument that the growth in June was not the beginning of a recovery and not enough to push the economy out of recession.