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 to 61.4% – its lowest level since January 2010.
The Harper government has long trumpeted having a stronger job market than the US. In June, the unemployment rate rose in Canada but fell in the US. Statistics Canada reports that it is now the same on both sides of the border, even after adjusting for methodological differences between the two countries.
Continuing evidence of a weak Canadian labour market underscores the need for public investment in important services and infrastructure to help create jobs. Austerity is the wrong priority for federal and provincial governments.
For further analysis, please see Angella MacEwen’s blog post on Relentlessly Progressive Economics.
Erin Weir is an economist with the United Steelworkers union and a CCPA research associate.