Sunday, February 9, 2014

Canada's Janurary Employment Numbers Are Out, No Recovery for Ontario from Big December Drop

Statscan has the employment numbers out for January, available here. After a big dive of over 40,000 in December, the country as a whole bounced back with 29,000 jobs.

One thing about the numbers that the media didn't pick up on was that Ontario didn't bounce back at all in January. Although the media in general doesn't seem to care a lot about the individual Ontario numbers. In December Ontario lost a massive 39,000 jobs (which would be the equivalent of losing over 900,000 jobs in a month in the entire US). With the ice storm affecting Southern Ontario in December, conceivably some jobs weren't filled and perhaps they would show up in the January numbers. But they didn't:

"Although employment was little changed in Ontario, the unemployment rate fell 0.4 percentage points to 7.5% as fewer people looked for work. On a year-over-year basis, employment in the province rose by 54,000 or 0.8%, the same growth rate as the national average."

That's not really reassuring although at least Ontario didn't lose jobs two months in a row. The number of jobs increasing by 0.8% over a year isn't that fantastic considering the province's population grows at 1% at year currently (from Wikipedia).

Again the February numbers should be interesting to try and discern a trend. For the provincial treasury, low job growth isn't going to help income tax revenue, so the budget should be interesting to say the least. 

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