Canada’s economy added 31,000 jobs last month, well down from September’s pace of gains and below what economists were expecting but enough to push the jobless rate down by two ticks to 6.7 per cent.
Statistics Canada reported Friday that the jobs number only expanded by 0.2 per cent in October.
The retail sector added 72,000 jobs, while the accommodation and food services sector continues to lose them, shedding another 27,000 jobs during the month. Those sectors have been hardest hit by the pandemic because of their reliance on in-person contact, and they continue to be volatile.
While overall, Canada’s economy has more jobs than it did before the pandemic started in 2020, the numbers show that the employment recovery is uneven and running out of steam.
The job gains for October are well shy of those seen in September, and they were also far less than the 531,000 jobs the U.S. economy added during the same period.
Economist Doug Porter with the Bank of Montreal noted that five of Canada’s 10 provinces managed to grind out a job gain during the month, but most of the new positions came from Ontario, up 37,000, and B.C., which added 10,000.
“On the other side, the weakest provinces were the two most challenged by the fourth wave and related restrictions — Saskatchewan, which lost 6,500 jobs, and Alberta, which lost 9,000,” he said.
The data agency also says there is a large and persistent cohort of people who are what’s known as long-term unemployed, meaning they haven’t had a job for more than half a year.
That number held steady at 378,000 people in October. That’s down from a peak of 486,000 in the middle of the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic in April, but still enough that it means more than one quarter of the jobless people in Canada are now considered long-term unemployed.
Before the pandemic, only 15 per cent of jobless workers stayed that way for more than half a year.
The jobless rate went down to 6.7 per cent, an improvement of 0.2 percentage points from September’s level, but still well above the 5.7 per cent it was in February 2020, before COVID-19.
Porter said while the numbers for October were certainly nothing special, he was heartened to see the data finally starting to return to some level of normalcy.
“In many ways, this is the most normal employment report we have seen since the pandemic began, with job gains roughly in line with the 2019 trend,” he said. “Given the wildness of the prior 18 months, no one is complaining about ho-hum.”
High River Cargill beef processing plant workers vote 71 per cent in favour of new deal – CTV Edmonton
Cargill workers approved a new contract with 71 per cent support, avoiding a strike or lockout.
After two days of voting, employees at the beef-processing plant in High River, Alta., embraced the new labour contract.
In a statement, the United Food and Commerical Workers (UFCW) Local 401, representing workers at the plant, said on Saturday that it was a “bittersweet victory.”
The site, employing about 2,000 people, experienced a COVID-19 outbreak last year that affected more than 900 people and forced Cargill to close the plant temporarily. Three deaths have been linked to the outbreak, including two workers and one family member.
Workers will receive $4,200 in retroactive pay, a $1,000 signing bonus, a 21 per cent wage increase over the life of the contract, and improved health benefits. The company also agreed to provisions to facilitate a new culture of health, safety, dignity, and respect in the workplace.
“Our employees in High River are important to Cargill’s work to nourish the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way,” said Jarrod Gillig, Cargill North America’s business operations and supply chain president, in a statement to CTV News.
“We are pleased to have reached an agreement that is comprehensive, fair, and reflective of their commitment to excellence at Cargill and the critical role they play in feeding families across Canada.”
According to UFCW Local 401, the union and workers were ready for a potential strike, erecting tents in front of the plant, installing floodlights and propane heaters, levelling nearby fields to act as parking lots, and finalizing a picketing payroll system.
UFCW Local 401 president Thomas Hesse previously told CTV News that the deal was “fair” but would support workers on the picket line if they decided to reject the offer.
“Tomorrow, work will begin to enforce and apply the new provisions of the Cargill union contract,” Hesse said in a statement Saturday. “Local 401 congratulates and thanks Cargill union members and our Cargill Bargaining Committee.”
Hesse added that the past few months were trying for many employees at the plant.
MORE WORK TO DO
While the decision was not an easy one and a cause for celebration, UFCW Local 401 says there is further work.
The union says workers at the JBS Plant in Brooks, Alta., observed the Cargill proceedings as they head into bargaining for a new contract next year. Additionally, the UFCW Local 401 says it plans to continue pushing for meatpacking industry reforms and restructuring.
As prices for meat continue to soar at the grocery store, Hesse said more needs to be done to better support workers and ranchers.
“Workers have been ripped off. Ranchers have been ripped off. And we’ve all been ripped off at the supermarket counter,” he said. “Government failed to protect these workers, as well as failing to protect Alberta ranchers and consumers. Change must occur.”
With files from CTV News Calgary’s Michael Franklin
Why employers may need to bend toward a more flexible future to stay competitive – CBC.ca
You don’t have to convince Ross Simmonds about the benefits of remote work.
The founder and CEO of Foundation Marketing has been leading the way on that front, running his business as “remote first” since it started in 2014.
While the company may officially be based in Halifax, it employs team members as far away as Ireland and Nigeria.
“I like to say we’re based on the internet,” said Simmonds, whose 30-plus staff also includes people in the U.S. and a half-dozen Canadian provinces.
The long-term provision of more flexible work will remain a key draw for employees in Canada’s future economy and also for organizations looking to retain their services, employers and experts say.
It’s already the case in a COVID-altered work world that millions of Canadians are used to doing things differently and don’t necessarily want to go back to the way things were.
“Workers, at this point, who work online have come to expect to be able to continue to work online,” said Eddy Ng, the Smith Professor of Equity & Inclusion in Business at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont.
Some Canadian employers are factoring this reality into their thinking as they shape their approach to their business.
At software giant SAP Canada, the organization is bending toward a more flexible future — one that many employers will have to contend with as they compete for talent, said SAP Canada vice-president and head of HR Megan Smith.
“Most talent, at this point, expects some degree of flexibility in where and when they work,” Smith said. “So organizations that really want to attract the best talent are going to want to offer some degree of that.”
Simmonds said it’s already clear people are moving toward jobs that provide that.
Foundation Marketing has been fielding inquiries about job opportunities from people at other companies who have been told they are going back to the office.
“That’s when we see a spike for the number of applicants applying for our roles,” said Simmonds.
Binod Sundararajan, the interim director of Dalhousie University’s Rowe School of Business, said companies are weighing what they are “going to get by bringing people back,” including the impact on corporate culture.
But that consideration is taking place amid an awareness that they have workers who want more flexibility, he said.
Canada has more than four million people working at home, according to Statistics Canada’s latest labour force survey. That group would include many people whose remote work experience began with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Janet Candido, the founder and principal of the Toronto-based Candido Consulting Group, has observed a shifting set of employee preferences over the course of the pandemic.
At the start, Candido heard employees expressing a strong desire to be able to work at home. Then some people found the home-work environment tough to adjust to, she said.
“Now that pendulum seems to have swung back, where people really do want not necessarily to work remotely all the time,” said Candido. “They want the flexibility now.”
But Candido, too, notes she has seen people leaving their jobs in recent months because they found a new employer that permits remote work.
Meanwhile, Simmonds said he’s seen organizations that are trying to implement a blend of office and remote work — a development he views as “a good step forward.”
When flexibility is offered to workers, Simmonds said, it’s key to convey to people they won’t be “viewed negatively” for preferring a remote setup, if that’s what works best for them.
“Don’t be afraid to go hybrid, but in doing so, don’t discipline those who do not embrace fully coming back to the office,” he said.
Less commuting, more options
The more traditional a company’s working arrangements, the more limited its hiring choices may be — at least when compared to organizations offering more flexible options.
“If you need everybody to come into the office, they need to be [living] within commuting distance,” said Candido.
That lack of a commute is one of the reasons Simmonds favoured remote work for Foundation Marketing. He thought others would feel the same way.
“I had a hypothesis that there was a lot of other people out there in the world who would get a lot of value for not having to do the commute and not having to work in an office building,” Simmonds said.
He said he also believed “it would be a competitive advantage to be able to be fully remote, because you would be able to attract some of the brightest and greatest minds, with no limit to their location.”
What about those left behind
There are, however, many workers for whom remote work won’t be an option in future — and not only because of the jobs they currently have.
Because to move to a job that can be done remotely, a person has to have a certain set of baseline digital skills that may not be easily acquired outside of a work or school context.
“If they want to be part of the remote economy, they have to have new skills,” said Ng, noting this is a long-term problem that policy-makers have failed to solve.
And while some may see remote work as having potential to help alleviate some barriers for these workers, Ng said the reality is very different.
“The availability of workers who are underrepresented is simply not there,” said Ng, explaining these same people are often in jobs that do “not permit them to actually retrain or retool.”
There’s a need for employers to take a long-term view, Ng said, and be willing to invest in people to help them gain the broader skills required to move toward new employment.
Ontario man who accidentally transferred $19000 to stranger's account left for weeks without solution – CTV Toronto
An Ontario man says he has been fighting to get back $19,000 for months after making a “simple mistake” while trying to transfer money between two of his bank accounts.
Milton, Ont. man Roberto Guardado said he had just purchased a new home and in September was trying to transfer money from his Bank of Montreal (BMO) account to his CIBC account so that he could make the down payment.
He said he called BMO to arrange the wire transfer, figuring it would be the easiest way to move the funds to CIBC.
Guardado said he has two bank accounts with CIBC, one for his personal savings and one for business. He was trying to transfer the money into the savings account.
He said while making the transfer, he correctly read out his CIBC savings account number, but mistakenly gave the transit number of his CIBC business account.
The five-digit transit number helps the bank identify which branch the money is being sent to.
The mistake resulted in Guardado’s money being sent to a stranger’s CIBC account, he said.
“I noticed the money went out but it didn’t go into my CIBC account,” Guardado told CTV News Toronto. “So I went home that day and I started looking on my computer and then I realized I gave the wrong transit number.”
He said he immediately called BMO, who told him they would launch an investigation.
Despite calling the bank every few days for an update, he said it took five weeks before he got any answers.
Guardado said he was told that his $19,000 was deposited into someone else’s account and the person had withdrawn it.
He said both BMO and CIBC told him nothing further could be done to retrieve his money.
“I couldn’t believe I made the mistake,” Guardado said.
Guardado said he called the police, but was also told that because he initiated the transfer there was nothing to investigate.
“The police told me that because it’s not considered fraud they can’t do anything about it,” he said.
‘JUST A SIMPLE MISTAKE’
Guardado said that while he fully admits the error was his fault, he doesn’t understand why the bank couldn’t help him quickly reverse the transfer.
“It was just a simple mistake and my money ended in someone else’s account,” Guardado said.
Because of the lost money, Guardado said he had no choice but to back out of the sale of his new home.
Shortly after CTV News Toronto contacted CIBC and BMO about Guardado’s situation, he said he received a call from the banks telling him his $19,000 would be returned to his account.
CIBC spokesperson Trish Tervit confirmed on Saturday they had resolved the issue with Guardado.
“It’s important that when transferring funds between financial institutions that the sender ensures the recipient account number is correct as misdirected funds may be difficult to recover,” Tervit added.
Guardado said CIBC told him this is a “unique situation” that is being resolved on a one-time basis.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson from BMO said they had a “good conversation” with Guardado, but couldn’t comment further for privacy reasons.
While this stressful two-month chapter is now over for Guardado, he said banks “have to come up with a better system” for when people make mistakes.
“It was a stupid mistake on my part, but the process to fix it has to be easier,” he said. “I was so stressed that I lost weight and I couldn’t sleep. It was bothering me so much.”
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