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Canada lost 31,000 jobs last month, the second straight monthly decline – CBC News



Canada’s economy lost 30,600 jobs in July, Statistics Canada said Friday.

It’s the second month in a row of lost jobs, coming on the heels of 43,000 jobs lost in June. Economists had been expecting the economy to eke out a slight gain of about 15,000 jobs, but instead the employment pool shrank.

Goods producing industries actually added about 23,000 jobs during the month, but that relative strength was more than offset by a large loss of 53,000 jobs in the service sector.

The health-care sector was a major drag, as it lost 22,000 positions. After more than two years of caring for Canadians during a pandemic, burnout and job churn in the sector is becoming a major issue. More than 10 per cent of all nurses called in sick at least once during the month, and more than 20 per cent worked paid overtime to make up for it, the data agency said.

Nursing vacancies in early 2022 were more than triple the level of five years earlier, Statistics Canada said.

“The job decline in health care has not gone unnoticed, as it has been due to voluntary quits rather than layoffs,” said economist Tu Nguyen with accounting and consultancy firm RSM Canada.

“The exodus of burnt-out health-care workers has led to a surge in temporary closure of emergency rooms. This has far and wide ramifications, [because] when people are not taken care of, it leads to workers across industries calling out sick, having to take time off to care for sick family members, or even exiting the workforce in more extreme circumstances.”

Despite the decline, the jobless rate held steady at its record low of 4.9 per cent, because while there were fewer jobs, there were fewer people looking for work, too.

As of the end of July, the data agency says there were about one million people in Canada officially classified as unemployed, which means they want a job but don’t have one. Another 426,000 people wanted a job but didn’t look for one during the month, so they are not officially counted among the ranks of the unemployed.

The million or so people without a job compare with 19.5 million Canadians who had some sort of paid work during the month.

Canada’s soft job market stands in stark contrast to that in the U.S., where the economy added 528,000 jobs last month. That’s twice as many as economists were expecting.

While the monthly job number is always volatile, and is especially so in the summer months, Tiago Figueiredo, an economist with Desjardins says the underwhelming number suggests Canada’s “labour market slammed the brakes in July.”

“With that said, the labour market still remains tight and there’s scope for a further weakness in employment as economic growth slows.”

While the economy is shedding jobs overall, many sectors are expanding robustly, such as aviation, says Arvin Nagules with Menzies Aviation. (CBC)

While the economy has fewer workers today than it did in May, many sectors and employers report that hiring remains robust. The tourism sector was hit perhaps harder than any other sector by the pandemic, but as demand returns, so is the need for workers.

Laura Pallotta, vice-president with Marriott Hotels, says the chain is currently trying to hire as many as 1,000 people across the country, even as the overall economic outlook darkens.

“We believe that we need to continue to hire back positions and roles [because] we see demand for Canada over the next number of years will continue to be strong,” she told CBC News in an interview.

Arvin Nagules, senior vice-president with Menzies Aviation, which provides a variety of airport services across Canada and abroad, says his industry is also trying to ramp staffing levels up quickly.

He says airlines and airports have done as much hiring in the past two or three months as they would normally do in a number of years. “It’s not just the airline industry. Everyone’s fighting for the same group of people,” he said in an interview.

Economist Brendon Bernard with job search firm Indeed is taking the monthly drop with a grain of salt — noting that the decline is within the 34,000 margin of error for Statscan’s job survey — but it’s clear that something is changing in the job market.

“Rather than showing up in higher unemployment, the recent soft job numbers have shown up in declining labour force participation instead,” he said. “Not what we’d expect from a wave of layoffs [but] at the same time, the pace of gains from earlier this year appear to have run out of gas.”

“Now the question is whether the car will stay in neutral.”

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US bear market deepens: What that means for you – Al Jazeera English



United States stocks slumped further this week as investors navigated a barrage of bad news.

Central banks around the world have been scrambling to fight soaring high inflation by increasing the cost of borrowing without hurting long-term growth prospects. Adding to the uncertainty and fear are rising tensions between the West and Russia following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

In the US, the S&P 500 – a proxy for the health of retirement and college savings accounts – this week fell to its lowest level in almost two years and was set for a monthly decline of nearly 8 percent.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 has dropped nearly 33 percent so far in 2022, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost more than 20 percent while the world’s best-known cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, shed nearly 60 percent of its value. Home prices are also dropping as interest rates soar, making loans for potential buyers more expensive.

The Federal Reserve, the country’s central bank, is tasked with fighting the highest inflation in decades and has been doing that by raising interest rates. But can it increase the cost of capital to reduce demand and moderate prices without plunging the economy into a deep recession?

“It’s really a no-win situation at this point. Largely because of the number of shocks policymakers have had to deal with,” Cristian deRitis, leading economist at Moody’s, a research firm based in New York, explained to Al Jazeera.

How much further down can stocks go? What is a bear market exactly? And is there a light at the end of the tunnel?

Here’s the short answer.

I keep hearing that the US is in a bear market. What is that exactly?

A bear market occurs when a broad market index dips more than 20 percent from recent highs.

Why is the US currently in a bear market?

“Persisting concerns over inflation and the Fed’s ability to tame prices without a hard landing,” is how Peter Essele, head of portfolio management at Commonwealth Financial Network, a Massachusetts-based firm, explained it.

What’s the reason behind the high inflation and why are prices out of control?

Kenneth McLaughlin, professor of economics at Hunter College in New York, told Al Jazeera that one of the reasons is the federal government “injecting $5 trillion into the economy including through stimulus checks during the pandemic with kind of good intentions but with no plans to pay for it.”

In other words?

Think back to early 2020 when businesses shuttered and economies came to a standstill to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Millions of Americans found themselves under lockdown with nowhere to go and spend the fresh-off-the-press stimulus checks. That caused equity prices, be it stocks, Bitcoin and home prices across the US, to skyrocket. It also caused a surge in demand for goods and that, as we see now, has led to the highest rise in the cost of living seen in decades.

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S
The war in Ukraine and growing tensions between the West and Russia are expected to continue to spook investors and roil markets [File: Brendan McDermid/Reuters]

How does this cause the stock market to go down?

As the Fed raises rates, which is essentially increasing the cost of borrowing in order to bring down the price of goods and services, people start to fear a slowdown in the economy. This pushes down the price of stocks and other investments.

Are the current economic conditions really just the consequence of what happened in the last 2 years?

The last two years have been unprecedented in many aspects. But what we are seeing today can also be attributed to the extremely low interest rates of the last decade when, following the financial crisis of 2007-2008, the government made it cheaper for Americans to borrow, Essele told Al Jazeera.

Didn’t the markets just have a rally?

Stocks did experience a rally in August. Things were looking up when petrol prices, which had soared in earlier months, dropped sharply. Investors held on to the hope that perhaps the Fed would ease on the interest rate hikes if the inflation numbers for August showed that consumer prices had cooled. But despite cheaper petrol, food and other essential goods, prices remained high – surging 8.3 percent in August compared with a year earlier.

Where are we now?

“Inflation is becoming more structural and investors are now concerned about stagflation,” Essele explained to Al Jazeera, suggesting that price hikes may be here to stay for the long haul. Stagflation is a mashup of the words “inflation” and “stagnation” and refers to a situation when inflation is high even as the rate of economic growth slows down.

So what does the future hold? And how long will this bear market last?

Expect above-average price pressures. The war in Ukraine and growing tensions between the West and Russia add to the uncertainty and will continue to spook investors and roil markets.

“But we are likely in three-quarters of the way through the bear market,” Essele predicted.

I don’t own any stocks, why should I care about a bear market?

While stock investors are the ones most directly affected by a US bear market, there are spillover effects to the rest of the economy primarily due to the “wealth effect”. That is, as households see the value of their retirement and stock portfolios decline, they will pull back on their spending.

“Given how dependent the US economy is on consumer spending, this impact can be significant and widespread,” Moody’s deRitis told Al Jazeera. “Discretionary sectors such as travel, leisure, and hospitality may feel the most immediate effect but other industries such as housing and retail trade will experience reduced demand as households grow cautious.”

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Ontario Securities Commission files allegations of fraud in multimillion-dollar crypto offering – CP24



TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission says it has filed allegations against Troy Richard James Hogg related to a crypto token offering that raised US$51 million.

The statement of allegations says that between May 2017 and June 2019, Hogg, an Ontario resident, promoted and sold a crypto asset named Dignity token, previously called Unity Ingot, to investors around the world.

The regulator alleges that Hogg and his companies – Cryptobontix Inc., Arbitrade Exchange Inc. and Arbitrade Ltd. – defrauded investors with false and misleading statements in promotional materials, including that gold bullion supported the value of the tokens.

The OSC alleges that Hogg and his companies further defrauded investors by spending a significant amount of invested funds on things unrelated to crypto security tokens, including buying real estate and making payments to companies controlled by Hogg.

The regulator also alleges that Hogg did not file a prospectus for the token or obtain the necessary registration with the OSC to engage in trading activities.

The OSC says it was assisted in its investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which ran a parallel investigation and has levelled charges against Hogg and several U.S. residents.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 30, 2022.

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Lululemon settles lawsuit with Peloton over allegations of ‘copycat’ clothing



Two of North America’s biggest names in fitness have settled a lawsuit over allegations of “copycat” sports bras and workout tights.

Vancouver-based “athleisure” brand Lululemon has agreed to terms with American exercise bike company Peloton after negotiating a “mutually agreeable settlement” in the patent dispute, according to a notice of voluntary dismissal filed in a California district court on Friday.

The terms of that agreement have not been made public.

Lululemon filed suit in November, claiming Peloton’s Strappy Bra, Cadent Laser Dot Legging, Cadent Laser Dot Bra, High Neck Bra, Cadent Peak Bra and One Luxe tights were all rip-offs of its own products.

“Unlike innovators such as Lululemon, Peloton did not spend the time, effort and expense to create an original product line,” the Lululemon claim read.

“Instead, Peloton imitated several of Lululemon’s innovative designs and sold knock-offs of Lululemon’s products, claiming them as its own.”

Court documents show that the dispute dates back to a 2016 co-branding deal that allowed Peloton to put its logo alongside Lululemon’s on certain Lululemon products that were sold through Peloton stores.

In its own court filings, Peloton claimed the arrangement was “burdensome and time-intensive,” leading the company to end the partnership and develop “its own private label brand of fitness apparel.”

This image is included in a lawsuit filed by Lululemon against Peloton. Lululemon claimed the average customer would not be able to tell their products apart. (U.S. District Court)

Lululemon, in turn, claimed that Peloton had simply imitated some of its garments. The yoga wear firm sent Peloton a cease-and-desist letter on Nov. 11, 2021, asking the company to “immediately stop selling its copycat product.”

According to the Lululemon lawsuit, Peloton said it needed until Nov. 24 to respond to the accusations in the letter.

Instead, Peloton filed its own lawsuit in the Southern District of New York, alleging that Lululemon was making “baseless threats” and asking a judge to pre-emptively declare that Peloton had done nothing wrong.

News of the settlement in California comes just one day after a judge in New York dismissed Peloton’s lawsuit, ruling it “an improper anticipatory declaratory judgment action,” filed with the intention of beating Lululemon to the courthouse.

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