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'Head-scratcher:' Economists weigh in on Canada's surprise job loss – Yahoo Canada Finance

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Canada’s July jobs reading caught economists by surprise with a loss of 30,600 positions rather than an expected gain of 15,000 for the month.

Despite the negative reading coming on the heels of a still larger decline in June, the unemployment rate stuck to its historic low of 4.9 per cent based, according to Statistics Canada, on a drop in Canada’s participation rate.

“Canada’s labour market is not in disarray,” said National Bank economists Kyle Dahms and Alexandra Ducharme, in their jobs commentary, noting that year-to-date, the private sector has added 110,000 positions. The pair said they continue to see “resilience in the Canadian economy” making them outliers among other big bank analysts.

After digesting July’s numbers, most economists appear to have taken away two narratives:

  • The Bank of Canada won’t be deterred from raising rates further, and possibly with another bigger than normal hike.

  • July’s jobs reading hints at an economy that is beginning to “lose steam.”

Here are the economists in their own words:

Rishi Sondhi, TD Economics

“That’s two in a row in terms of weak headline jobs prints, and employment has now averaged an 11k decline over the past three months. This is consistent with our view that economic growth will soften in the second half of the year. The details skewed to the softer end in July, as full-time employment accounted for a larger share of the overall jobs decline than in June, and hours worked also fell. The latter is particularly notable as it could signal a soft print for monthly GDP, following flat growth in May and a sub-trend gain in June (based on Statcan’s preliminary estimate).”

Stephen Brown, Capital Economics

“The second consecutive monthly decline in employment will raise a few eyebrows at the Bank of Canada but, with the unemployment rate unchanged at a record low and wage growth still strong, we doubt it will prevent the Bank from hiking its policy rate by a further 100 bp at the next two meetings…. While the increase in average hourly earnings was a little lower than we expected, at 0.4% m/m, that gain is still too high for comfort in terms of meeting the Bank’s 2% CPI inflation target. At the margin, the July LFS may tilt the odds a bit toward a 50 bp rate hike in September rather than a 75 bp one, but we doubt it will be the deciding factor.”

Andrew Grantham, CIBC Economics

“The Canadian employment figures were somewhat of a head-scratcher again in July, with employment falling for a second consecutive month but the unemployment rate remaining historically low. The 31K decline in jobs came against consensus expectations for a 15K gain, and added to the 43K decline in the prior month. However, a two-tick decline in the participation rate meant that the jobless rate remained at 4.9%. Job losses were strangely concentrated in the services sector, including wholesale & retail, education and health. With some of those sectors reporting high vacancy rates, labour supply rather than demand appears to be the main issue. That said, the major difference between today’s report and last month’s is that wage growth unexpectedly decelerated (to 5.4% y/y from 5.6% and against consensus expectations for 5.9%) although we always caution that the LFS wage series is extremely volatile month/month. While today’s figures muddy the waters further for policymakers, the Bank of Canada will likely focus on the historic low unemployment rate and still strong wage growth to justify another non-standard rate hike at its next meeting.”

Carrie Freeston, RBC Economics

“In the months ahead we will begin to see the economy lose steam. We are already observing jobless claims rising South of the border, as U.S. labour demand begins to cool. Canada will not be far behind. With the Bank of Canada having raised the overnight rate by 225 basis points (to 2.5%) since March, and at least another 75 basis points slated for the fall, inflation pressures will ease. And labour markets are expected to cool. Our forecast calls for the unemployment rate to begin to trend higher in the coming months and into 2023.”

Douglas Porter, BMO Economics

“Canada’s job market is clearly losing momentum in a hurry, likely due to both a marked cooling in the broader economy but also because a lack of available workers. The downward drift in the participation rate, especially for the 15-64 group, is worth watching closely, with the potential to tighten the labour market further. For the Bank of Canada, the takeaway will be that while growth is clearly cooling, conditions remain drum-tight and wages are stirring. We believe this backdrop is consistent with another rate hike at the September meeting, but of a less aggressive nature than the mega 100 bp move in July. We look for a 50 bp hike at that time.”

Marc Desormeaux, Desjardins Economics

“July’s data were well below the consensus projections, and as such shaved our call for Q3-2022 real Canadian GDP growth to just below 1% (q/q saar). Decelerating wage gains suggest that some progress has been made in the fight against inflation, but the rate of hourly earnings growth continues to track prices closely. Accordingly, while we think inflation may have peaked and have noted previously that the Canadian economy is historically sensitive to interest rate increases, we believe the Bank of Canada will put more weight on the extremely tight labour market and raise rates by 50 bps at its September meeting.”

Kyle Dahms/Alexandra Ducharme, National Bank Economics

Canada lost 31K jobs in July, a second consecutive monthly decline. Despite this development, Canada’s labour market is not in disarray. July’s losses were concentrated in public sector jobs. This sector indeed suffered its worst loss outside of a the pandemic since 1976 (-51K), a perplexing development considering the state of public finances at both the federal and provincial levels. Private sector employment, while also down in July, is still up 110K year-to-date with continued contribution from construction and manufacturing during the month. Despite the July decline, the unemployment rate remained unchanged at its lowest level since 1970 due to a 0.2 pp drop in the participation rate, a third decline in four months. With the unemployment rate remaining historically low, we still see resilience in the Canadian domestic economy. This robustness is also confirmed by the evolution of the wages of permanent employees, which grew 5.4% over the last twelve months, down from June’s 5.6% print but still historically high. At this juncture, the Bank of Canada is still on track to hike at its next meeting on the 7th of September with labour shortages continuing to persist according to the latest figures by the CFIB (Canadian Federation of Independent Business).

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Ageism: Does it Exist or Is It a Form of ‘I’m a Victim!’ Mentality? [ Part 4 ]

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How you think is everything.

This is the fourth and final column of a 4-part series dealing with ageism while job hunting.

The standard advice given by “experts” to overcome ageism revolves contorting yourself to “fit in,” “be accepted,” and “be invited.” Essentially, their advice is to conceal your age and hope the employer throughout the hiring process won’t figure it out and hire you.

It takes a lot of time and energy to be accepted into places where you aren’t welcome, and it can be heartbreaking.

Finding an employer who accepts you for who you are, regardless of age, gender, race, or whatever, is the key to happy employment. There’s no better feeling than the feeling you’re welcomed. Therefore, my advice to job seekers is: Be your best self and let the chips fall where they may. Doing your best and accepting the outcome will give you a Zen-like sense of freedom.

An attempt to infer someone’s biases based on their actions is usually just an assumption based on what you want to believe. If it benefits you to think someone is practicing ageism (e.g., a convenient excuse), then you’ll believe you’re the victim of ageism.

The fact is you don’t know what the hiring manager’s behind the scene looks like. The entire company’s leadership team judges their hiring decisions. Your fit with current employees needs to be considered. Budget constraints exist. Let’s not forget the biggest hiring influencer, and their past hiring mistakes, which they don’t want to repeat.

While reviewing resumes for a senior accounting position, the hiring manager thinks, “The Centennial College graduates I’ve hired didn’t last six months. While Bob has plenty of experience, he’s a Centennial College alumnus. Hiring another six months quitter won’t look good on me.” “Karen has worked for FrobozzCo International. If I recall, the company reportedly funneled money into offshore accounts to avoid paying taxes. I wonder if Karen was involved.”

Association experiences contribute to most biases. You know the saying, “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.” If you met five rude redheads in a row, the next one will also be rude, right? The human brain is wired to look for patterns and predict future behavior based on those patterns. Call it a survival skill. When we first meet someone, we try to predict what behavior to expect from them using past experiences.

This quick assessment is why hiring managers decide, within as little as two minutes, whether a candidate is worth their time. While it’s important to try and make a good first impression (READ: image), you have no control over how others interpret it.

Bottom-line: You can’t control another person’s biases.

Based on how I hire, and conversations with hiring managers, I believe the following to be true. An employer is more interested in the results you can deliver for them than your age or whatever “ism” you believe is against you.

Can employers afford to pass up qualified candidates who could contribute to their bottom line? Of course not! (Okay, it’s “unlikely.”) You’ll be in demand if you can demonstrate a track record of adding value to your employers.

Having the belief that your age prevents you from finding the employment you want is a paralyzing belief. Ageism exists for all ages, which I think many people use as a crutch.

“They said I was overqualified. That’s ageism!”

“They hired someone younger than me. That’s ageism!”

“They said I wasn’t experienced enough. That’s ageism!”

Get over yourself!

Employers can hire whomever they deem to be the best fit for their business. It’s self-righteous to judge someone else’s biases (READ: preferences), especially when their biases don’t serve your interests. Let’s say, for example, you’re 52 years old, and the hiring manager prefers candidates between 45 and 55 (Yes, I know such hiring managers), and they hire you. Would you call out the hiring manager’s bias that worked in your favor?

If you believe your age is an obstacle, here’s my advice: Break the fourth wall. If you sense your age is the elephant in the room, put your age on the table and see what happens. When interviewing, I always mention, early in, that I’ve been managing call centers since 1996. I then let my interviewer do the mental math and wrestle with any age bias they may have. As I mentioned in my last column, the employer most likely Googled you and has a good idea of your age. Therefore, since you were vetted to determine if you were interview-worthy, tell yourself that your age is irrelevant.

When interviewing, don’t focus on “isms.” Doing so makes them your reality. Instead, focus on the problems the position you’re interviewing for is meant to solve.

______________________________________________________________

Nick Kossovan, a well-seasoned veteran of the corporate landscape, offers advice on searching for a job. You can send Nick your questions at artoffindingwork@gmail.com

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CMHC reports annual pace of housing starts up 1.1 per cent in July – CP24

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The Canadian Press


Published Tuesday, August 16, 2022 9:02AM EDT


Last Updated Tuesday, August 16, 2022 9:02AM EDT

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says the annual pace of housing starts in July edged higher compared with June despite a slowdown in urban starts.

The housing agency says the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts in July was 275,329 units, an increase of 1.1 per cent from June.

The annual rate of urban starts was down 0.8 per cent at 254,371 units in July, while multi-unit urban starts fell 0.3 per cent to 195,987 units.

The pace of single-detached urban starts dropped 2.3 per cent to 58,384 units.

Meanwhile, rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 20,958 units.

The six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates was 264,426 units in July, up from 257,862 in June.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 16, 2022.

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Recall: Baby rocker, swing recalled over strangulation risks – CTV News

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Two infant products, manufactured by baby gear company 4moms, are being recalled due to strangulation hazards, according to a consumer product notice issued by Health Canada.

Health Canada says the recall involves certain MamaRoo baby swings and the RockaRoo baby rockers.

Those products impacted by the recall include MamaRoo infant swing set models that use a 3-point harness including models 4M-005, 1026 and 1037, according to the recall notice.

The MamaRoo model that uses a 5-point harness is not included in the recall, according to Health Canada.

The affected RockaRoo baby rocker’s model number is 4M-012. The model numbers can be found on the bottom of the products.

Both products have restraint straps that can dangle below the seat, and infants who are not seated can become “entangled in the straps, posing a strangulation hazard,” Health Canada said in the recall notice.

“This issue does not present a hazard to infants placed in the seat of either product,” the agency noted.

According to the recall, there have been no reports of strangulation or injury submitted to the company as of Aug. 9.

“Consumers with infants who can crawl should immediately stop using the recalled products and place them in an area where crawling infants cannot access,” reads the statement.

Consumers who have purchased one of the recalled products can register on the 4moms recall registration website or by phone at 877-870-7390. After doing this, 4moms will send a strap fastener to consumers with instructions on how to install.

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