Blogs & Comment

Uh comes the heavy weather.

Time to batten down the hatches. Here comes the heavy weather. The latest Canadian employment numbers have just come out and, wow, are they bad. According to Stats Canada the jobless rate in Canada moved to its highest point in almost three years (6.6 percent) as a net 34,400 jobs were lost. That was more than economists were expecting according to a Bloomberg poll. So it looks like the heavy weather is moving in from the south. I was chatting with the always-erudite Patricia Croft, vp and chief economist at PH&N, this morning, and she suggested that Canadians who have so far been smug about our good economic weather should revisit that attitude. The downturn is moving into Canada in a bigger way and is really going to begin to bite. Were going to play catch up to the rest of the world, say Croft. Its what you expect from a small, open trading economy in a global recession. She mentioned she was surprised by the construction numbers (which were particularly bad) and said the message to businesses is that the downturn in the real economy is just beginning to take hold here in Canada and that its going to get worse yet. Croft expects the jobless rate to eventually rise to 7%. It’s also worth noting that manufacturing indicators are still dropping, suggesting the real economy is still slowing and not yet bottoming out. Uh oh. CityTV has just called. They need someone on TV to deliver the bad news. Its always odd doing this kind of thing, going on TV. Ive always thought I have a look suited to print, not screen. Note to self: Keep extra suit jacket in the cubicle for just such a situation.