Category Archives: Trends

Canadian Economy: Fall 2017

Canadian Economy: Fall 2017


Canadian full time employment for core-age workers (25-54) strengthened through the first half of 2017 and is continuing into the third quarter although at a slower pace.  Annual Canadian employment growth strengthened to above 2% during the summer months lowering the national unemployment rate.

Total employment rose by 186,000 (+1.0%) during the first half of 2017, led by gains in full-time work and among core-age individuals (aged 25 to 54). Gains in professional, scientific and technical services and in health care and social assistance, accounted for over two-thirds of the overall increase with manufacturing leading the goods sector growth.

BC Led Employment Growth

British Columbia led employment growth among the provinces during the first six months of the year; overall full-time employment in British Columbia rose by 78,000.

National Real GDP

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased in a number of goods and services industries from November 2016 to June 2017, with increases occurring in mining, quarrying, oil and gas extraction, manufacturing, construction wholesale trade, retail trade, and finance industries.  Overall, real GDP growth, measured year-over-year, increased steadily from January, before rising above 4% in May and June.  Over the past four quarters, economic growth in Canada has outpaced growth in the United States

Despite this robust economic growth, the consumer price inflation decelerated from 2.1% in January 2017 to 1.0% in June.  This reduced inflationary pressure appears to influence consumer spending supported by higher outlays on automobiles, clothing, footwear and housing-related expenditures.


Retrieved and adapted October 19, 2017 from

Looking for a job?

Job Vacancies, 2017 (2nd Quarter)

An indicator of a positive and growing economy is the number of job vacancies in a labour market.  Since the 2nd quarter of 2016, BC has recorded 14,000 job vacancies with the majority concentrated in two of the seven economic regions of the province: Lower Mainland—Southwest (+10,000) and Vancouver Island and Coast (+1,900).

As such, British Columbia continued to have the highest job vacancy rate among the provinces at 4.0%, up from 3.5% one year earlier.

The job vacancy rate is defined as the portion of jobs that are unfilled out of all available payroll jobs expressed as a percentage of labour demand.  A positive value means there are a number of jobs unfilled in a labour market.

In many sectors, British Columbia had a job vacancy rate above the national average, notably in accommodation and food services (6.4%), administration and support services (5.9%) and construction (5.2%) which means if you are looking for a job, employers in these sectors are very eager to hire qualified new employees.

10 Economic Regions with the Highest Job Vacancy Rates in Canada

This table shows which regions in Canada had the greatest number of job vacancies (level of unoccupied positions) for the last quarter of 2016.  (Note 5 of the ten are in BC).  According to StatsCan there were 402,000 jobs vacant in Canada at the end of 2016 with a portion of those in BC.

Now past rates don’t indicate future trends but if these regions have had a difficult time finding employees a few months ago, that trend may continue for a while. So, if you are looking for work and are open to travel to a different region, these 10 are good options. Employers are looking for smart, educated employees, self directed and willing employees.  Take time to research each region through a local Labour Market site.



July 2014 Labour Force Survey

July 2014 Labour Force Survey
Brief adapted from

Summer employment for students*
Age Unemployment Rate
20 – 24 8%
17 – 19 16.8%
15 – 16 28%

30,000 more students aged 20 to 24 were employed in July 2014 compared to July 2013 resulting in an unemployment rate of 8% and employment rate of 70%, little changed when compared with a year earlier.
According to the LFS most of the increase occurred in part-time employment.

For students aged 17 to 19, the July 2014 unemployment rate was unchanged at 16.8% with an employment rate of 58.5% both rates similar to those observed in July 2013.

Students aged 15 to 16, suffered an unemployment rate of 28.0%, with an employment rate of 29.6%, virtually unchanged compared with July 2013.
*NOTE: The Labour Force Survey collects labour market data from May to August, about young people (students) aged 15 to 24 who were attending school full time in March and who intend to return to school full time in the fall. Statistical comparisons are on a year-over-year basis, as the published data is not seasonally adjusted.

Province Unemployment rate
BC 6.1
Alberta 4.5
Saskatchewan 3.3
Manitoba 5.1
Ontario 7.4
Quebec 8.1
New Brunswick 9.8
Nova Scotia 9.1
Prince Edward Island 9.4
Newfoundland/Labrador 11.9

Canada-US comparison**
Canada 6.0%
US 6.2%
**Note: Adjusted to US concepts
For further information, see “The labour market in Canada and the United States since the last recession, 2007 to 2014.”

Canadian Employment Trends, June 2014

Canadian Employment Trends, June 2014
Employment increased by 60,000 in June for people aged 55+ dropping their unemployment rate down to 5.8%.

The unemployment rate rose slightly to 6.1% as employment declined by 26,000 for people aged 25 to 54, mostly among women.

44,000 fewer Canadians aged 15 to 24 were employed in June increasing the unemployment rate to13.4%.

Student summer employment*
The unemployment rate for students aged 20 – 24 was 12.0%, little changed from 12 months earlier with the number of employed, as a percentage of their population, was 67.4%, similar to that of June 2013.
*Note: May to August The Labour Force Survey collects and compares year over year data (not seasonally adjusted) for Canadians aged 15 to 24 who were attending school full time in March with the intend to return full time in the fall. As many students aged 15 to 19 are still in school, the June survey results provide the first indicators of the post-secondary summer job market, especially for students aged 20 to 24.
Retrieved and edited July 11, 2014 from

Canadian Employment Change October 2012 to October 2013

Canadian Employment Change October 2012 to October 2013 saw the Canadian economy create 213,800 jobs between October 2012 and 2013 raising the overall number of workers in Canada to 17,793,900. The job creation trend has remained relatively positive with +1,050,110 jobs created in Canada since a low of 16,743,800 in July 2009.

Although the overall employment trend remains positive, five (5) sectors have seen a net loss of workers this past year, Manufacturing (-82,500) contributed over 50% of the job losses between 2012 and 2013. Educational Services (-30,200), Public Administration (-22,700), Other Services (-20,100) and Information, Culture and Recreation (-7,800) contribute to the remainder of the job losses.

Despite the positive national trend, BC has lost 12,300 jobs (-10,000 part-time, -2,300 full-time) between October 2012 to October 2013. The next post will explore the provincial trends since 2003.

Trend Watch – Canadian Retirement Trends

Canadian parents taking on additional debt to help pay for children’s post secondary education. Often times parents are even delaying retirements five years or more because they haven’t saved enough.

Reflections of a 50 something parent of teenage children as influenced by the CIBC research article
1. Do parents (I do include my wife and I) have an unrealistic expectation of retirement? Have we been so influenced by media to believe that freedom 55 is a sustainable retirement age?
2. Has the relatively recent global economic correction adjusted our bank accounts but maybe not our overall expectations?
3. Have we falsely placed more faith in the financial markets to give us a sustainable and healthy 10% or 15% return on all our long term savings in RESPs or RRSPs?
4. Is it the expectation that I will incur all the dept so my children can be debt free?
5. What are our expectations of our children and their ability or willingness to contribute financially towards their own education?
6. What are the lessons that can be learned by children through personal debt, sacrifice, self control, frugality, industry and contributing towards a goal?
7. What are the expectations of children towards parents and finances?
8. Have “helicopter parents” taken on too much responsibility for their beloved progeny and in turn assumed many of the consequences for them?
9. Do we as parents expect our children to follow the same path we did towards university?
10. Have we parents determined what our children will be and will become as a professional…?
11. Have we worked so hard at providing the best education but abrogated the responsibility to coach them up as contributing, thoughtful, respectful, spiritually and emotionally intelligent young men and women?
12. May be it’s my hope that if I provide for their education now, it’s with the unspoken but implied expectation that they will care for me in my old age?

Please note: I am writing this in a “tongue in cheek” but truly self reflective manner. I am not really as pessimistic as written or represented.
Brook 😉

Job Vacancies – 6 Job Seekers for Every Job – What to Do

The latest Job Vacancy data from StatsCan indicates that there were 6.3 job seekers for every posted position. Does this mean the competition for available jobs has increased? Does this indicate a weaker economy? How does this relate to the hidden job market that traditionally states that over 80% of jobs are never advertised.

Job Vacancies – Canada – May 2013

What this means for job seekers is that it is very important to prepare yourself well for the job search.
1. Thoroughly research the labour market
2. Learn as much as you can about the careers/jobs you are pursuing
3. Accurately take stock of your accomplishments, skills, experiences, duties and contributions
4. Complete informational interviews within your network and in your job(s)/career(s) of interest
5. Professionally and strategically build your network (more on this shortly)
6. Create a professional and positive web presents through LinkedIn and in some situations Facebook
7. Target your resume and cover letter
8. Practice your interview skills
9. Budget your time, resources and energy well
10. Lead a team of supporters and cheer leaders
11. Remain resilient and persistent
12. Take care of yourself physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually
13. Consider additional training possibilities
14. Volunteer with an eye to contributing but also learning new skills towards a job/career goal
15. Positive, professional, polite and polished people are always in demand, an employer can teach you new skills but they can’t teach you character…(only you can).

Statistics seem to indicate that there is more competition for available jobs. Knowing this can be discouraging and challenging to job seekers, but those who prepare themselves well do succeed no matter the economy.