Connect with us

Business

Windsor has highest unemployment rate in Canada – Windsor Star

Published

 on


Article content

As the rest of Canada picked up economic momentum in September, with employment returning to pre-pandemic levels, the Windsor area got left behind.

Advertisement

Article content

The most recent local unemployment figure of 10.4 per cent is the highest in Canada and this area remains the only one still wrestling with a double-digit figure.

Toronto and Calgary had the next-highest rates at 8.9 per cent.

The national unemployment rate fell .2 per cent to 6.9 while the provincial rate dipped three basis points to 7.3 per cent.

“These are definitely not the numbers we want to see,” said Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce CEO Rakesh Naidu.

“We’ve been stubbornly in double digits for some time now. That’s definitely disappointing.

“There are things (microchip shortage, border closure) affecting our region more than other areas. That’s reflected in these numbers.”

There were 165,400 people employed locally last month, a loss of 500 jobs from August. Windsor’s pre-pandemic level of employment in February 2020 was 167,300.

Advertisement

Article content

The local numbers are just as ugly when looking at the employment and labour force participation rates.

The Windsor Census Metropolitan Area’s employment rate dropped .2 per cent to 54.1 per cent while the participation rate shrank four basis points to 60.4 per cent.

That’s a stark contrast to Ontario’s employment rate of 60.6 (plus .5) and the national rate (60.9 per cent, plus .4). The participation rates at both the provincial and national levels improved by .4 per cent to 65.4 per cent and 65.5 per cent, respectively.

The Windsor Census Metropolitan Area includes Lakeshore, Tecumseh, Amherstburg and LaSalle.

Workforce WindsorEssex CEO Justin Falconer said the numbers illustrate how vital the manufacturing sector, with automotive being its beating heart, remains to this area.

Advertisement

Article content

The sector lost 1,500 jobs in September as the Windsor Assembly Plant and its numerous feeder plants were idle due to the microchip shortage at the time the Statistics Canada survey was completed (Sept. 12-18).

“It’s hard to go back to normal when your biggest employer in the region is still being hampered by the microchip shortage,” Falconer said.

“Even if we were to make improvements in these numbers in the coming months, without automotive production going back to what it was, you have one hand tied behind your back.”

Falconer said between 20 and 25 per cent of jobs in the area are somehow connected to the automotive sector. He called the region’s diversification strategy “a long game that seldom brings quick wins.”

Advertisement

Article content

“We’re trying to change those percentages by adding different jobs, not taking away good-paying manufacturing jobs,” Falconer said.

Other sectors showing significant gains or losses were education services (plus 1,600 jobs), food and accommodation (plus 500) and construction (minus 500).

Naidu added the border remaining closed continues to be a drag on the local economy, especially the manufacturing sector.

“The border closure is now doing irreversible damage to our economy,” Naidu said. “We’re losing jobs that aren’t coming back.”

Naidu shared a tale from a local manufacturer who initially set up a 6,000-square-foot facility in Detroit to allow for final testing of machinery and contract sign-offs for American clients.

Advertisement

Article content

The local company has since moved to an 80,000-square-foot building, moved machinery out of a Windsor plant and hired employees in Detroit.

“Initially, it was a way to get around the border closure, but it has worked so well over there, he told me he doesn’t think he’ll bring the new business back to Windsor,” Naidu said.

Despite Windsor’s high unemployment rate, there are thousands of jobs going begging locally.

In September, there were 6,054 active job postings on the Workforce website, an increase of 5.65 per cent over August, from 1,949 employers.

“People aren’t taking the opportunities that exist,” Naidu said. “We’ll see what happens when some of the government subsidy programs run out at the end of October. That may encourage people to join the workforce and lower these numbers.”

dwaddell@postmedia.com

twitter.com/winstarwaddell

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Dollar set for another week of losses even as Fed tapering looms

Published

 on

The dollar was heading for a second week of declines on Friday as sentiment stayed tilted towards riskier assets, while an intervention by the Australian central bank put a halt to the Aussie dollar’s recent surge.

The dollar index was last at 93.733, little changed in Asian hours but off 0.24% on the week, as it continues its fall from a 12-month high of 94.565 hit in earlier this month.

It had managed to stem losses on Thursday, bouncing on better U.S. jobs and housing data, but the rally petered out on Friday morning in Asia, where risk sentiment was boosted news that beleaguered developer China Evergrande Group has supplied funds to pay interest on a U.S. dollar bond, averting a default.

But traders are still trying to assess whether the dollar has scope to fall further, or if this is a temporary blip on a march higher.

“People are wondering whether we are at an inflection point, as the dollar has been weakening and that doesn’t really fit with the broader narrative that global growth is cooling and the Fed is on the path to tapering, which should be supportive for the dollar,” said Paul Mackel, global head of FX research at HSBC.

On Friday, benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yields were at 1.6872%, slightly off from Thursday’s multi-month high of 1.7%, as markets continue to prepare themselves for an announcement by the Federal Reserve that it will start to wind down its massive bond buying programme, which is widely expected for November.

Mackel said part of the reason for the dollar’s weakness had been strong performances by currencies from most commodity exporting countries.

These were quieter on Friday, however, as traders took profits, analysts said, and energy prices softened.

Brent crude, which had risen above $86 dollars a barrel on Thursday, continued its tumble and was last at $84.10.

The Australian dollar was at $0.7475, off Thursday’s three-month top, as the boost to the China-exposed currency from Evergrande’s news was outweighed by action from the Reserve Bank of Australia to stem a bond sell off, as well as the pause in energy price rises.

The RBA said on Friday it had stepped in to defend its yield target for the first time in eight months, spending A$1 billion ($750 million) to dampen an aggressive bonds sell-off as traders have bet on inflation pulling forward rate hikes.

Also affected by energy prices, the Canadian dollar slipped to C$1.2352 per U.S. dollar, off Thursday’s C$1.2287, a level last seen in June.

The British pound paused for breath at $1.3798, off a month peak hit earlier in the week, to which it had been carried by growing expectations of an interest rate hike to combat rising inflationary pressures.

The euro was little changed at $1.1627, while the yen wobbled within sight of its multi-year lows, with one dollar worth 114.01 yen, compared with 114.69 earlier in the week, a four-year low.

China’s yuan eased against the dollar on Friday after the FX regulator warned of possible action if the currency market is hit by greater volatility following its recent rally. But the yuan still looked set for the biggest weekly gain since May.

Bitcoin was at $63,928, a little off Wednesday’s all-time high of $67,016

 

(Reporting by Alun John; Editing by Sam Holmes and Kim Coghill)

Continue Reading

Business

Pandemic opens doors to switch jobs in Japan, but pay not rising much

Published

 on

The  Covid-19 pandemic has unexpectedly helped Japan’s nursing homes and  Information Technology companies overcome years of labour shortages, as job cuts at restaurants and hotels have prompted workers to look for new careers.

This newfound job mobility marks a shift in a country whose rigid labour practices are partially blamed for a long term decline in productivity.

But it is too soon to say whether the change will ultimately lead to higher wages, which are desperately needed to revive demand and growth in an economy that is still struggling to break free from decades of deflation.

For now, the job-hoppers tend to trade one low-paying career for another.

Toshiki Kurimata, who used to make 2.8 million yen ($25,000) a year as a masseur, quit after 12 years as the pandemic caused a sharp drop in customers. Now he works at a nursing care centre and is taking classes to become a registered caregiver.

With that qualification, he expects to earn around 3.3 million yen – an increase of about 18%. The even bigger attraction, he says, is job stability.

“I like working in nursing care and it’s stable,” Kurimata said. “There aren’t age limits on the work and you can find work even if, like me, you are inexperienced.”

Experts aren’t sure whether the job-switching will remain limited to certain industries or become a broader trend.

It is also uncertain whether job switching will continue once the pandemic dies down, although anecdotal evidence suggests people will keep leaving food-service jobs for nursing and IT.

Japan expects to have a shortage of 690,000 care workers by 2040, a tough gap to fill given the rapidly ageing population.

LOW-INCOME

OECD data put Japan’s hourly labour productivity at $47.9, making it about 60% of the United States’ level, the worst among the Group of Seven (G7) advanced economies, and 21st

among the 37 OECD members as of 2019.

And the prospect of people being stuck in low income jobs poses a big challenge for Japan’s new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who has pledged to bring more wealth to households via higher wages.

“COVID-19 fallouts are pushing low-paid workers into even harder situations with little, or no, increase in pay,” said Hisashi Yamada, senior economist at Japan Research Institute.

Hospitality businesses have laid off workers, with the number of employees falling to 3.9 million in 2020 from the prior year’s 4.2 million, labour ministry data shows.

By contrast, the medical and health industry saw employees hitting 8.6 million, up 200,000 from 2019. The IT sector hired 2.4 million employees, up 100,000 from 2019.

JOB TRAINING

Vocational training schools have benefited.

SAMURAI, which offers IT training, had 1.7 times more students enrolled as of April 2021 compared with a year earlier, as employees retrenched during the pandemic rushed to retrain.

Most IT jobs on offer for inexperienced workers are for programmers, on the lowest rung of the IT ladder, but they generally still pay more than can be earned in hospitality.

The average annual salary for employees at restaurants and nursing homes amounts to roughly 3 million yen, 30% less than an average Japanese workers’ salary, government data shows. IT programmers earn close to the national average.

“I saw how popular the IT sector was and thought I may land a stable job,” said Koki Shimizu, a 22-year-student at SAMURAI who lost his job as a chef and now is learning to program.

At Crie, which offers training in nursing care, classes that were only two-thirds full before the pandemic are now packed out.

The company’s head Takayuki Nakayama expects the uptrend to continue given steady job offers in the nursing care industry.

“It’s true wages are relatively low in the nursing-care industry. But many job-seekers want stability after seeing the damage inflicted on eateries and other service-sector firms.”

Retailers are also becoming alarmed over losing staff, as they are counting on a rebound in activity as Japan gradually eases COVID-19 restrictions.

Major Japanese pub chain operator Watami is scrambling to hire 100 mid-career staff this year – something it has not done for three years – and it reckons that eventually it may have to pay more.

“1,000 yen per hour may not be enough, 1,500 yen may be needed to attract workers in the future,” said the company’s chief executive Miki Watanabe.

For now, firms are wary of raising pay as the economy is still struggling in the wake of the pandemic.

($1 = 114.0100 yen)

 

(Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Leika Kihara, David Dolan & Simon Cameron-Moore)

Continue Reading

Business

Pfizer-BioNTech report high efficacy of COVID boosters in study – Al Jazeera English

Published

 on


The companies say phase III trial data show booster shot of COVID-19 vaccine was 95.6 percent effective against the disease.

American pharmaceutical company Pfizer and its partner BioNTech have said data from a Phase III trial demonstrated high efficacy of a booster dose of their COVID-19 vaccine against the coronavirus, including the Delta variant.

They said a trial of 10,000 participants aged 16 or older showed 95.6 percent effectiveness against the disease, during a period when the Delta strain was prevalent.

The study also found that the booster shot had a favourable safety profile.

Pfizer had said its two-shot vaccine’s efficacy drops over time, citing a study that showed 84 percent effectiveness from a peak of 96 percent four months after a second dose. Some countries had already gone ahead with plans to give booster doses.

The drugmakers said the median time between the second dose and the booster shot or the placebo in the study was about 11 months, adding that there were only five cases of COVID-19 in the booster group, compared with 109 cases in the group which received the placebo shot.

“These results provide further evidence of the benefits of boosters as we aim to keep people well-protected against this disease,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement.

The median age of the participants was 53 years, with 55.5 percent of participants between 16 and 55 years, and 23.3 percent at 65 years or older.

The companies said they would submit detailed results of the trial for peer-reviewed publication to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Medicines Agency, and other regulatory agencies as soon as possible.

The US and European regulators have already authorised a third dose of COVID-19 vaccines by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Inc for patients with compromised immune systems who are likely to have weaker protection from the two-dose regimens.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending