EI Benefits Decline Amid Rising Unemployment

Today, Statistics Canada reported that the number of Canadians receiving Employment Insurance (EI) benefits fell for a third consecutive month in November. This decline would be good news if it reflected an improving labour market. Unfortunately, unemployment has also increased for three consecutive months. The trend is a dwindling number…
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The “Other” Side of the Story

The latest Labour Force Survey summary tables released by Statistics Canada contain something salient and troubling. It’s not the unemployment rate. It’s the fact that more and more prime-age workers are finding themselves working part-time hours simply because they can’t find full-time hours. It’s a fact, but it’s not getting…
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When Will the Baby Boomers Retire?

Canada’s population, we are frequently told, is rapidly aging. The big baby boomer cohort is headed out of the workforce, meaning  that we face a future of very slow labour force growth and even possible shortages of workers. CIBC Economics has just gone so far as to argue that the…
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More Than 1.4 Million Unemployed

Statistics Canada reported today that unemployment exceeds 1.4 million for the first time in eight months. December’s unemployment figure was the highest recorded since April. And these official figures significantly understate the problem of underemployment by not counting people who have given up looking for work and part-timers who want…
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Flaherty’s Christmas List — all Mixed Up

Following recent dismal reports on rising unemployment, stagnant GDP growth, and a deteriorating economic outlook, we can only hope federal Finance minister Jim Flaherty will provide some Christmas cheer with changes “to better promote job creation and economic growth” (as he’s  asked for advice on through his pre-budget consultations). Unfortunately, Santa Flaherty seems to…
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