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Grocery inflation slows, as fresh vegetable costs increase

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Prices for food items purchased from stores in Canada decreased slightly month to month in December, Statistics Canada says, but consumers continue to pay more for fresh vegetables, dairy products, and meats.

In its latest report Tuesday, Statistics Canada pegged grocery inflation in December 2022 at 11.0 per cent, a decrease from 11.4 per cent the month before. The overall Consumer Index Price (CPI) was 6.3 per cent year-over-year in December, a decrease from 6.8 per cent in November.

StatCan says the CPI slowed due to prices at the pumps.

“The monthly decline in December is the largest since April 2020, mostly driven by gasoline prices, which also posted their largest monthly decline since April 2020,” the Statistics Canada report reads.

Consumers paid 13.1 per cent less at gas stations in December compared to November. StatCan says this is a reflection of lower prices for crude oil amid a “slowing global economy.”

Despite a small month-to-month decrease in inflation, specific food items have stayed costly or risen in price.

Eggs in particular are 16.5 per cent more expensive than they were in December 2021, according to the latest CPI report.

“For Canadian eggs at the store, the retail price isn’t set by egg farmers,” says Jodey Nurse, a faculty lecturer studying historical patterns of agricultural marketing systems at McGill University.

“That’s a business decision made by those companies further up on the supply chain… I think it’s interesting that supply-managed commodities really have seen an element of stability,” Nurse told CTV’s Your Morning on Wednesday.

Nurse says egg prices are more stable in Canada – decreasing -2.2 per cent between Nov. 2022 and Dec. 2022 , according to StatCan – than in the U.K. and U.S.

Food costs in the U.K. continued to increase for a 17th consecutive month, reported The Associated Press. Inflation on food rose from 16.5 per cent in November to 16.9 percent in December.

Avian influenza outbreaks in the U.S. have impacted the price of eggs there and in Canada, Nurse said. As of Jan. 11 there were 47 states with poultry outbreaks affecting 57.8 million birds.

“Egg prices have been incredibly high in the United States, and in very short supply as well,” Nurse explained. “Canada in comparison has not experienced these issues to the same extent as the U.S. and this is largely because of our supply management system.”

As of Jan. 11, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has reported a total of 118 infected premises (IPs) affecting 6.92 million birds. British Columbia has the largest number of IPs with 3.4 million birds impacted across the province.

“Farms in Canada are relatively small in size, especially in comparison to egg farms in the U.S.,” Nurse said. “Farmers work together to maintain the domestic supply of eggs so, for example, if there is an avian influenza outbreak that affects one region of the country, production can be increased in other provinces to keep the supply balanced and to make up for potential gaps.”

Nurse also said the distance between egg farmers across Canada helps minimize the spread of disease among birds. She believes eggs are still considered an affordable protein.

“We’ve seen the impact world events have had on supplies (like) Russia’s war in Ukraine, to issues that persist because of COVID-19,” Nurse said. “Of course, inflation has impacted most items that Canadians buy, including many food items…I believe the egg industry in Canada has a very strong incentive to keep prices as affordable as possible for consumers.”

FOOD PRICES IMPACTED BY INFLATION

While most food inflation decreased from November 2022 to December 2022, year-over-year December prices still remain high.

The prices for fresh vegetables rose 13.6 per cent in December 2022, from a 11.2 per cent increase in November 2022.

Tomato prices increased 13.6 per cent between Nov. 2022 and Dec. 2022, resulting in a 21.9 per cent year-over-year increase. Lettuce prices increased 2.8 per cent in the last two months, with December year-over-year inflation at 32.8 per cent.

Overall fresh fruit prices saw a 4.2 per cent increase from Nov. to Dec. 2022. Apples alone had a 2.5 per cent increase from Nov. to Dec. 2022 contributing to an overall year-over-year increase of 12.1 per cent in December.

Pasta product prices between Nov. and Dec. increased 4.8 per cent, resulting in a December year-over-year increase of 21.1 per cent.

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Quebec government funnels another $413 million to Airbus A220 program – CTV News Montreal

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Quebec government funnels another $413 million to Airbus A220 program  CTV News MontrealView Full Coverage on Google News

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U.S. regulator investigating Delta after global tech outage led to widespread cancellations – CBC.ca

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  1. U.S. regulator investigating Delta after global tech outage led to widespread cancellations  CBC.ca
  2. U.S. airline regulators investigate Delta’s flight cancellations and faltering response to global tech outage  The Globe and Mail
  3. DOT launches investigation into Delta amid ongoing flight disruptions  Fox Business
  4. US regulators investigate Delta as it struggles to recover from outage  Al Jazeera English
  5. Delta faces probe as CrowdStrike disruption lingers  BBC.com

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Before Spending Money on a ‘Career Coach,’ Do Yourself a Favour, First Try These Job Search Strategies

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I’m sure you’re aware of the “career coaching” industry—Internet talking heads promising job search and career success—that’s sprung up in recent years. Worth noting: The industry is unregulated. All career coaches are self-proclaimed; no certification or licensing is required.

 

Career coaches have one ultimate goal: To make money off you.

 

Today’s tight job market is making job seekers frustrated and desperate, which career coaches are taking advantage of with their promise of insider knowledge, personalized guidance, and a direct line to the hidden job market. Career coaches market themselves as a shortcut to finding a job, which is appealing when you’ve been unemployed for a while.

 

I’m not averse to hiring a career coach to assist you with your job search; it’s your money. However, keep in mind a career coach…

 

  • is a significant expense, especially if you’re unemployed
  • will only offer common sense advice, nothing that you probably already don’t know or haven’t read or heard before, and
  • doesn’t have insider knowledge

 

…and you’ll still need to do the activities related to job searching.

 

When asked, “Nick, should I hire a career coach?” my answer is an unequivocal “No!” Conducting your job search solo will not only save you money, you’ll also be developing job search skills you’ll need for the next time—chances are there’ll be a next time—you’re job hunting. Before spending thousands of dollars on a career coach, I suggest first trying the following job search strategies.

 

Optimize your online presence.

 

In today’s digital-first job market, employers will check your online digital footprint to evaluate your candidacy; are your interview-worthy? Start with the obvious: Ensure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and showcases your quantified accomplishments (a non-quantified statement is an opinion) so employers can see the value you can add. Do yourself a favour, read LinkedIn Mastery: A Comprehensive Guide to Navigating Digital Landscapes Effectively, by Benjamin Stone.

 

Necessary: Stay active on LinkedIn!

 

Your LinkedIn profile can’t be non-active. Maximizing LinkedIn’s potential requires regularly engaging with content, commenting on posts, and contributing original content. Engaging actively and visibly on LinkedIn will lead to opportunities.

 

Next:

 

  • List your social media accounts.
  • Deactivate accounts you are no longer using.
  • Set any accounts you don’t want prospective employers or recruiters to see to private.
  • Ensure your social media profiles (g., display name, handle, headshot, bio) convey the same message about your professional background.

 

Leverage your existing network (a low-hanging fruit few job seekers take advantage of).

 

Everyone has a network of some sort. This means since all job opportunities are attached to people—good news—there are job opportunities all around you. Often, your barista, dentist, hairstylist, neighbours, fellow members of whatever club or association you’re a part of, and, of course, family and friends can help open doors for you.

 

Tell everyone you know that you’re looking for a new job. Always carry extra copies of your resume and hand them out when appropriate. You’ll be surprised at the number of people willing to help you when they understand your situation.

 

Read these two books:

 

 

Ferrazzi outlines practical strategies for building relationships, networking, and leveraging connections

.

 

Hollins provides actionable strategies for achieving your job search and career goals, such as overcoming procrastination and boosting productivity with focus and discipline.

 

Apply less, connect more.

 

Applying online is a waste of time. In previous columns, I’ve noted that applying online is comparable to playing the lottery; you’re hoping a stranger hires you. Numerous studies have shown that most jobs aren’t advertised; they’re filled through connections and referrals.

 

Job searching today is a long game; you need to be patient. Today, you need to network your way into a company and identify opportunities, which no career coach can do for you. It’s unlikely the resume you submit online will be reviewed. Paying to have your resume redesigned won’t get it more views; getting it in front of people who can hire you will.

 

Take what you will from the following.

 

A few months back, a job seeker asked me, “I’ve been working as a help desk agent at a healthcare software company for five years. I want to become a Director of IT at a large multinational company. What should I do?”

 

How should I know? I’m not a Director of IT. Why not ask the Director of IT at a large multinational company?

 

Take advantage of the fact that people love talking about themselves. Dinner with someone who holds the position you aspire to is a better investment than hiring a career coach who lacks your dinner partner’s real-world experience. I charted my career path by observing those ahead of me and seeking their advice. Talking to people who are where you want to be will benefit your job search and help you achieve your career aspirations.

 

By shifting your mindset, optimizing your online presence, leveraging your existing network, staying engaged on LinkedIn, and connecting with the right people, you won’t need to hire a costly career coach, and you’ll develop skills you can use throughout your career.

_____________________________________________________________________

 

Nick Kossovan, a well-seasoned veteran of the corporate landscape, offers “unsweetened” job search advice. You can send Nick your questions to artoffindingwork@gmail.com.

 

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