“Buy” The Numbers

jobs-fair-boardAccording to Statistics Canada, the employment scene is on the mend with the creation of 41,000 jobs, with 35,000 being full time positions.

I guess it’s time for me to stop with the end of the Age Of Austerity and the jobless recovery rants?

Think again. Let’s examine the numbers in more detail.

25,000 of the jobs were in health care. Unionized jobs spurred by increased government spending. Not increased by improving consumer confidence which drives the economy.

Again, understand what the unemployment rate means. It means, I quote, “The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed as a percentage of the labour force (employed and unemployed).” The total employed in Canada is 18,044,000 as of March 2016 from Statistic Canada and the labour participation rate, again from Statistics Canada, is only 65.9%.

Taking into considering the above numbers and percentages, a creation of 41,000 new jobs for a country with a population of 36,048,521 is not a strong increase. It’s anemic.

It’s also important to note that the unemployment rate for 2016 is still stubbornly high when compared to the previous years between 2013 and 2015, as pointed out by someone commenting on the article reporting the employment news. Moreover, Canada hasn’t always had this high an unemployment rate. When I was growing up, the unemployment rate in Canada hovered around 5% in the 1970s, and it was socially unacceptable to be out of work back in those days because it was easier to find a job. Now we have economists saying, “Oh! 41,000 jobs were created with an unemployment rate falling to 7.1%! By these numbers, we’re doing great!”

THIS IS NOT GREAT. We have young people trying to find work while facing near-unattainable tuition costs. We have the homeless living on the streets in a country that has a reputation of being prosperous for all yet homes — an essential — are priced like a luxury item and require two incomes to afford a mortgage. We have people working many part time jobs, or in a single job that does not match their career path, yet both situations are classified as normal employment. We have offshoring of Canadian jobs in the name of keeping payroll costs down, which means employees are being regarded in the same light as an office consumable.

By these numbers? Don’t buy it. Percentages are made up representations of sample data. They could mean anything.

Thanks for reading.



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