Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Part-Time Solution to Full-Blown Issue

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Part-Time Solution to Full-Blown Issue

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Part-time solution to full-blown issue


An editorial from the Winnipeg Free Press, published Nov. 7:

The labour market in Canada continued to lag behind the United States in October, surveys issued in both countries showed Friday. Canadians were still waiting for results from the January tax cut and the child benefit payments to families that began in July.

In the U.S., employment increased by 161,000, continuing the trend of preceding months. Employment growth has averaged 181,000 jobs per month this year, compared with 229,000 per month in 2015. The U.S. unemployment rate in October dropped to 4.9 per cent from 5.0 per cent, a level that has prevailed since August 2015.

In Canada, employment increased by 44,000 jobs from the preceding month, much better than economists had forecast. But compared with the previous year, employment had risen by just 140,000 jobs, and of that total, 124,000 were part-time jobs.

The unemployment rate (which Canada calculates differently than the U.S.) remained at seven per cent, where it has been -- with small wobbles up and down -- since May 2013.

The U.S. job performance seemed likely to encourage the Federal Reserve to start raising interest rates at its Dec. 14 rate-setting meeting because the economy is showing steady, gradual expansion, and the prevailing administered interest rates are exceptionally low. The U.S. will have a national election and a further labour market report before the Fed makes its December move.

The Canadian experience left two mysteries for the authorities to explain. U.S. economic expansion was supposed to increase Canadian exports to the U.S. and so drag Canada along into a corresponding expansion, though this has not yet been seen.

The government's huge stimulative measures -- the January income tax cut and the Canada child benefit payments that started in July -- were supposed to put new money into the pockets of Canadian consumers, strengthen their confidence, lead to expansion of Canadian businesses and create new jobs. …

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