Job Vacancies vs. Unemployment

Progressive economists have advocated expansionary fiscal and monetary policies to boost demand and create jobs, given the high rate of unemployment. By contrast, employers and conservative commentators complain of unfilled vacancies and labour shortages, emphasizing policies to increase labour supply and labour mobility. Today’s new Statistics Canada survey of job…
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The Cuts Behind the Curtain

Today, the CCPA released a study I authored titled: The Cuts Behind the Curtain: How federal cutbacks will slash services and increase unemployment.  The report examines all three waves of federal government cutbacks starting with the 2007-2010 strategic reviews, but also projecting the effects from the 2010 personnel budget freeze…
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Wall Strikes Out on Fiscal Federalism

Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall recently issued a statement exhorting his fellow Premiers to blaze largely unspecified new trails on healthcare, Employment Insurance and Equalization. Unfortunately, he misses the ball on all three issues. Greg Fingas and Verda Petry have already refuted Wall’s call for further healthcare privatization. On Employment Insurance, Wall…
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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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