The new jobs report is in and it isn’t pretty. The unemployment rate is up to 7.1% and the country ended up net losing over 9,000 jobs. While that doesn’t sound like a lot in the grand scheme of things, it makes for especially poor economic news (no pun intended) since the projection based on last month’s numbers was that Canada would gain between 20,000 and 40,000 new jobs in the month of June.
Either something catastrophic happened in the last 30 days or the projections were a really bad prank. Since we haven’t had another economic crisis, it seems like the economists in charge of the predictions were just holding their jobs map upside down. Up means down and down means up, right?
One of the key mistakes that led to the almost 50,000 jobs mistake in projections was based on how they thought Ontario would fare. The provincial election that took place in June was actually supposed to create jobs. A million if you had asked former Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak, but at least a few thousand if you had asked Statistics Canada economists. Instead, this month’s On-terrible report shows that the province net lost almost 34,000 jobs on its own. That’s right kids, without Ontario we actually gained over 24,000 jobs this month.
So how do economists make that big of a mistake with Ontario’s job numbers? The decreased credit outlook certainly didn’t encourage companies to increase their Ontario operations, and the campaign itself doesn’t seem to have driven people to hire more employees. It’s not totally clear why the campaign was projected to increase employment, but after incidents like #tractorgate, maybe economists were expecting the campaigns to hire new, more competent staffers.
Whatever the reason, it certainly should make economists a little less enthusiastic about Canadian economic growth (unfortunately). Not that they would tell us. Paul Ferley, assistant chief economist at RBC said that “it has been a bit disappointing.” Just a bit, Paul? Losing over 9,000 instead of gaining 20,000 is more than a bit disappointing. It’s sad that Canadians are losing jobs, but it’s even more sad that official projections can not only be off by so much, but point us in the absolute wrong direction.
Don’t worry though, we have two groups of saviours that made sure the 34,000 Ontario job losses didn’t entirely drag our economy down. First is, as usual, Alberta. While Canada net lost 9,400 jobs, the province of Alberta net gained 9,400 jobs. They don’t call it black gold for nothing. The other saviour is self-employment, which rose over 23,000 in the last month alone. We Canadians are pretty resourceful. When Ontario bleeds out our jobs, we just make ‘em ourselves.