August 2014

Stalled recovery takes shine off Harper's economic record

Editor's note: after releasing its July jobs report on Aug. 8 showing 200 jobs were created overall, Statistics Canada said on Aug. 12 it had made an unspecified error in the labour force survey. The agency released an amended jobs report on Aug. 15. This has been updated to incorporate Statistics Canada's correction.

The Harper government boasts of rapid job creation since the recession. But today's revised job numbers...

The dismal state of Canadian manufacturing

It is hardly news, but the scale of the manufacturing crisis in Canada continues to astound.

Between 2002 and 2013, manufacturing employment fell by 557,000 jobs, meaning that one in four (24%) of the jobs that existed in 2002 have disappeared. As a share of all jobs, manufacturing fell from 15.0% to 9.8% over this period.

There has been no meaningful or sustained recovery from the Great Recession for the manufacturing sector. Total employment in 2013 was no greater than in the recession year of 2009.

Over the same period, manufacturing as a share of GDP has fallen...

Fiscal austerity and lost Canadian jobs

Bill Scarth is a highly respected mainstream Canadian economist at McMaster University. In a piece just published by the C.D. Howe Institute, a generally conservative think-tank, he argues that the pace of federal deficit reduction should be slowed in order to lower unemployment.

His key point is that the economy still has a lot of slack which will not be quickly closed just by maintaining interest rates at their currently very low levels. 

Based on quite conservative assumptions, Scarth estimates that...