On the surface, the latest Canadian jobs data are mildly disappointing: a slight reduction in the number of people working in December relative to November, which was more than offset by a decline in the labour force. Yet a deeper dive into the numbers — and a willingness to ignore the month-to-month changes in favour of the (slightly) less volatile annual changes — shows solid growth in the number of people working, with more than all of 2014′s job gains coming from full-time positions.
Moreover, despite a higher headline unemployment rate, the share of Canadians with a job remains significantly higher than in its southern neighbour, while the gap between the current employment rate and the pre-crisis norm is still much smaller. Read more
Last month, we wondered whether Canada’s anemic job growth, which was mostly being driven by the growth of the part-time labour force, was a cause for worry. While the latest data more than offset August’s remarkable drop in private-sector employment and ease some concerns about the rise of part-timers, they do not change the overall picture. Employment growth has been sluggish, particularly compared to the US.
A few highlights from the latest data: Read more
This morning’s Personal Income & Outlays report revealed the third consecutive monthly decline in core and headline PCE PI inflation (though August), both now just below 1.5 per cent:
David Autor chooses a surprising quote for the start of his latest paper on automation and jobs:
In 1966, the philosopher Michael Polanyi observed, “We can know more than we can tell… The skill of a driver cannot be replaced by a thorough schooling in the theory of the motorcar; the knowledge I have of my own body differs altogether from the knowledge of its physiology.” Polanyi’s observation largely predates the computer era, but the paradox he identified—that our tacit knowledge of how the world works often exceeds our explicit understanding—foretells much of the history of computerization over the past five decades. Read more
Women hold about 60 per cent of the total jobs in the thirty occupations projected by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics to have the most net job growth in the decade through 2022.
That figure was calculated* recently by the National Women’s Law Center, which adds that eighteen of those thirty occupations are “female dominated, with workforces that are 60 per cent or more female”. Read more
The Bank for International Settlements says there’s a problem. Governments, by and large, haven’t done enough to address the issues that have emerged during/since the financial crisis. Some monetary policymakers have done rather a lot, but much of it is in unchartered territory and carries risks. So, says BIS, monetary policymakers should just stop it henceforth.
From the latest BIS annual report: Read more
Self-explanatory, and they come via RBC Capital Markets:
US industrial production has grown at least twice as fast as GDP since the start of the recovery.
“Onshoring” work because wage differentials are narrowing plus falling electricity prices because of shale gas = more growth, so… great! Maybe? Read more