Participation Rate Lowest in a Decade

Today’s Toronto Star (page B2) quotes me pointing out that, between September and October, unemployment remained at 1,325,000, well above its pre-recession level. The participation rate remained 66.4%, its lowest level in more than a decade (since February 2002), reflecting the fact that hundreds of thousands have dropped out of…
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Fossil-Fueled GDP Growth

Yesterday, Statistics Canada reported that the Canadian economy had a month of fossil-fueled growth in August. Overall GDP was up by 0.3%, only half as much as in July but still a respectable monthly growth rate. By far the strongest growth of any industry was a 1.9% increase in “Mining, quarrying, and oil and…
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Wordsmithing 80,000 Jobs

The recent federal throne speech stated, “The Government will soon complete negotiations on a comprehensive economic and trade agreement with the European Union [CETA]. This agreement has the potential to create 80,000 new Canadian jobs.” There has since been a subtle but important shift in the government’s wording around that…
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Canada’s Trade Deficit with the EU Doubles

On Wednesday’s Lang & O’Leary Exchange (video), I debunked the claim that the trade deal between Canada and the European Union (EU) will create 80,000 Canadian jobs. The conservative panelists did not even try to defend this figure. As Jim Stanford has previously explained, the government’s model assumes full employment…
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When a Lower Unemployment Rate is Bad News

Today, Statistics Canada reported an unemployment rate of 6.9% for September. One might have expected Canada’s unemployment rate falling below 7% for the first time since 2008 to be cause for celebration. But as Statistics Canada noted, the decline in official unemployment reflected youth dropping out of the job market…
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Regina’s P3 Columnists

As the referendum on whether to privatize Regina’s wastewater plant nears, the Regina Leader-Post is printing a column a day advocating the P3: John Gormley on Friday, Bruce Johnstone on Saturday, and Murray Mandryk yesterday. Johnstone and Mandryk repeat three of the City’s key claims. Gormley only gets to one…
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