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…
Read more

Deregulation: A Bad Idea Crosses the Atlantic

The Harper government announced today that federal “regulators will be required to remove at least one regulation each time they introduce a new one that imposes administrative burden on business.” At the risk of imposing a proofreading burden on communications staff, that sentence is missing the word “an.” I first…
Read more

Wall of Silence on Canpotex

Saskatchewan’s newspapers reported today that BHP Billiton intends to sell the province’s potash outside of Canpotex, the marketing board that helps to maximize the price for which Saskatchewan potash is exported offshore. BHP executive Tim Cutt stated, “We will not market through Canpotex. We talked to the premier (Brad Wall)…
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more