Canada’s unemployment rate plunged to 6.8 per cent in September, its lowest level in nearly six years, Statistics Canada says.
Ontario enjoyed the biggest gain, adding 24,700 new jobs, pushing the province’s unemployment rate down to 7.1 per cent from 7.4 per cent in August, the federal agency said Friday.
The labour market data delivered some much-needed positive news at the end of a week that saw turmoil in financial markets amid fresh worries about slowing global economic growth. Given Canada’s dependence on exports, however, the pleasant surprise could be short-lived, economists said.
Ontario’s economic development minister Brad Duguid also hailed the monthly employment numbers and noted Ontario has now created 514,000 net new jobs since the 2009 global recession.
The labour market report beat economists’ consensus forecast for 20,000 new jobs and an unchanged jobless rate in September, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters. While the data was encouraging, economists said they remain wary of the highly volatile monthly data. September’s outsize gain follows an 11,000 net job loss in August, after a surprising 41,700 rise in July.
September’s employment growth “suggests that the economy might finally be catching fire. One month of data, however, doesn’t make a trend,” Capital Markets Canadian economist David Madani wrote in a report to clients.
Over the longer term, the numbers are headed in the right direction, RBC assistant chief economist Paul Ferley wrote in a note to clients. The labour market report is in line with expectations Canada’s economy will grow 3.1 per cent in the third quarter, chiefly on the strength of rising exports to the U.S, Ferley wrote.RBC predicts the Bank of Canada could begin raising its trend-setting interest rate by next spring, the second quarter of 2015.
In September, more Canadians found work in food services and accommodation, health care and social assistance, construction, natural resources, finance, insurance, real estate and leasing, Statistics Canada said.
Fewer jobs were created in educational services, possibly due to the impact of the teachers’ strike in British Columbia as school boards likely delayed contract hiring, economists said.
Younger Canadians made gains, as 43,000 new jobs went to people age 15 to 24 years. However, the youth unemployment rate increased by 0.1 percentage points to 13.5 per cent as more young people looked for work, Statistics Canada said.
Ontario’s unemployment rate is moving in the right direction, hitting a near six-year low. In other encouraging economic news, the Bank of Canada’s quarterly business survey and senior loans officer survey, both released Friday, suggest Canadian companies are becoming increasingly optimistic.
September’s jobless rate (previous month in brackets)
With files from The Canadian Press
Newfoundland 12.7 (13.5)
Prince Edward Island 9.5 (10.0)
Nova Scotia 8.6 (8.8)
New Brunswick 9.6 (8.7)
Quebec 7.6 (7.7)
Ontario 7.1 (7.4)
Manitoba 5.3 (5.5)
Saskatchewan 3.5 (4.2)
Alberta 4.4 (4.9)
British Columbia 6.1 (6.1)
St. John’s, N.L. 6.5 (6.4)
Ottawa 6.8 (6.7)
Kingston 7.8 (7.1)
Peterborough .3 (8.0)
Oshawa 7.7 (7.7)
Toronto 8.2 (8.3)
Hamilton 6.0 (6.3)
St. Catherine’s-Niagara 7.3 (7.9)
Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo 6.7 (6.4)
Brantford 6.7 (6.2)
Guelph 6.3 (7.0)
London 7.4 (7.5)
Windsor 8.7 (9.0)
Barrie 5.8 (6.2)
Source: The Star
Extension of Haiti Special Measures for Work Permits
Operational Bulletin 547-A – March 03, 2014
This Operational Bulletin (OB) provides an extension to the Haiti Special Measures (HSM). The HSM applies to work permits that were set to expire on March 01, 2014. This OB instructs officers on the way in which they would process applications received from Haiti nationals for work permits from within Canada.
The process of recovery from the devastating Haiti earthquake of January 12, 2010 has been slow. Various additional challenges that keep emerging have hindered the pace of recovery further. Consequently, Haiti nationals, currently in Canada, might need to continue staying on in Canada. In this situation, they would need to obtain work permits to support themselves.
To enable Haiti nationals to support themselves, the authorities have provided an extension to the HSM on Labour Market Opinion-exempt work permits. This extension is valid until September 01, 2014. Previous extensions to the HSM were valid until:
- January 19, 2011 (OB 264)
- September 01, 2012 (OB 345)
- September 01, 2013 (OB 468) and,
- March 01, 2014 (OB 547)
The Procedure for Processing Applications for Work Permits
Based on the latest extension to the HSM, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) officers would now accept in-Canada applications for work permits from Haiti nationals. These individuals would otherwise not be able to support themselves.
The HSM would apply to:
- Individuals who were issued a work permit under the previous HSM and,
- Haiti nationals who were in Canada prior to January 13, 2011 and who:
- Have a temporary status and,
- Are unable to support themselves
In most cases, Haiti nationals would need to submit a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) in addition to a work permit application. This would enable officers to determine whether:
- The job offer is authentic and,
- The employment could have a neutral or positive effect on the labour market in Canada
This is in accordance with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR). However, the Minister has approved a public policy under the HSM. This policy grants an exemption to Haiti nationals from requiring an LMO.
Under the HSM guidelines, CIC officers would accept applications from Haiti nationals until September 01, 2014. These applications could be for:
- New work permits or,
- Extension of previously issued work permits
CIC officers would not issue work permits for more than six months under these measures. Additionally, CIC would not consider any application received after September 01, 2014 eligible for the HSM.
To be eligible for a work permit under the HSM, Haiti nationals currently in Canada must have a valid status. Individuals with an expired status would need to apply for a restoration of their status. However, they must make this application within 90 days of losing their temporary status.
In case the individuals are out of status for more than 90 days, they would need to apply for a temporary resident permit first. Only after receiving this can they apply for a work permit.
All applicants would need to pay the standard processing fee for applications for a work permit under the HSM. The fee amounts to $155.
The Interim Federal Health Program
Haiti nationals would be eligible for health care coverage under the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP). This is within the scope of the HSM. However, they would need to meet certain conditions. To be eligible for the health care coverage, they must:
- Have received a new work permit or,
- Have received an extension of a previous work permit and,
- Not be eligible for:
- Provincial health insurance or,
- Territorial health insurance
The IFHP would not include the Immigration Medical Examination. It would be valid only for those applications received by the CIC by September 01, 2014. It would also not cover services or products that a person could claim under a private insurance plan. Instead, it covers beneficiaries if they require medical attention for:
- A disease
- A symptom
- An injury or,
- A complaint
It also covers:
- Hospital services
- Services provided by a doctor or a registered nurse
- Services provided by a laboratory, a diagnostic facility or an ambulance and,
- Medications and vaccines
The validity of the IFHP coverage could last until whichever of the following three conditions occurs first. Thus, Haiti nationals could enjoy the IFHP coverage:
- Until the expiration date listed on the work permit or,
- Up to a maximum period of six months or
- Until they no longer require coverage because they have:
- Become eligible for:
- Provincial health insurance
- Territorial health insurance or,
- Private health insurance
- Left Canada
IFHP coverage would also extend to the dependents of these applicants currently residing in Canada. This would include:
- Common-law partners and,
- Dependent children
Officers must issue a notice to temporary residents. This notice would inform these residents that they are eligible for applying for IFHP coverage. However, these temporary residents must:
- Have received a new work permit or,
- Have received an extension of a previous work permit
Individuals issued work permits prior to March 01, 2014 would continue to be eligible for IFHP health care coverage. This would be valid for the shorter of the following two durations:
- The duration of the applicant’s work permit or,
- A period of one year
- Medications and vaccinations would only be covered for:
- Preventing or treating a disease that could pose a risk to public health or,
- Treating a condition that is a public safety concern
Steps for In-Canada Processing
Under the HSM, Haiti nationals applying for work permits would need to:
- Write “Haiti” on the mailing applications of their work permit applications
- Provide detailed explanations of why they need a work permit to support themselves in Canada
- Include this explanation along with the work permit application
Temporary residents would need to ensure that they maintain their temporary resident status. This applies to residents who:
- Have applied for a new work permit or,
- Have applied for an extension of a previous work permit
They would need to maintain their temporary resident status by:
- Applying for a new work permit or,
- Applying for an extension of a previously issued work permit
They would need to do this before the expiry of their current status. Moreover, they would also need to pay the associated fees along with their applications.
Individuals who have already submitted an application for extending or changing their temporary status would benefit from an implied status. This would be valid until officers notify them of a decision on their application. This is in accordance with R183(5).
Special Program Coding
Officers would need to use the following code for issuing work permits under the HSM.
- H24: Work permit issued to Haitian national under the HSM; no LMO required
Expiry of Initiative
This initiative would remain valid until September 01, 2014
Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC
A new report suggests that Canada’s increasing reliance upon temporary foreign workers to solve labour shortages could have the unintended consequence of “de-skilling” the immigrant labour pool.
The report, compiled and released this month by Montreal’s Institute for Research on Public Policy, specifically examined provincial nominee programs, which often help temporary foreign workers to fast-track their immigration applications.
In the province of British Columbia, for instance, there is an increase in the amount of provincial nominees being drawn from temporary foreign worker pools. From 2005 to 2010, approximately 79 percent of PNP nominees were temporary foreign workers. In 2010 that number was up to 93 percent.
The report warns that such trends, though helpful to employers in addressing short-term labour issues, could have harmful effects for the long term labour market. For instance, there is little incentive for employers to invest time and money into training Canadians when they can bring in temporary workers much more quickly.
Additionally, temporary workers who have gained resident status are free to then move to other provinces where their skills may not be as highly coveted, thus leading to potential under or unemployment, putting more stresses on social services.
The report calls for caps on temporary foreign workers. Over the last decade, the amount of temporary workers entering the country each year has nearly doubled. As of 2012, there were approximately 491,547 temporary foreign workers in the country.
Source: Ottawa Citizen
A new report suggests that the Canadian unemployment rate will likely not spark inflation in the near future.
The report, issued this month by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, suggests that there is still plenty of breathing room in terms of jobless rates before the Bank of Canada would have to step in and raise interest rates.
“Demographic and public policy changes in recent years have lowered the non-inflationary rate of unemployment,” said CIBC chief economist Avery Shenfeld upon release of the study. “That will allow the Bank of Canada to keep rates low for long, and press ahead towards further labour market improvements.”
In other words, say experts, the concept of “full employment” is changing, as the central bank now has more room to sit back on interest rates than ever before. Shenfeld asserts that such a shift works in favour of those who are seeking work in this competitive labour market.
The authors of the study predict that there will be no change in the Bank of Canada rates until 2015, due to a variety of factors including unemployment benefits and weakening of unions.
Meanwhile the European Central Bank is cutting their interest rate to a record-low 0.25 percent, as unemployment rates sit at record highs with little forecast for job growth. The U.S. economy reported better numbers than expected, with GDP outpacing predictions from Wall Street.
Source: Globe and Mail
The Canadian job market is beginning to show signs of recovery, according to the latest data released from Statistics Canada.
This month’s labour force survey showed that the unemployment rate held steady at a five-year low of 6.9 percent, while over 13,000 new jobs were created.
While the steady numbers came as good news to some, other economic analysts say the figures are masking other more disconcerting trends under the surface. The manufacturing sector, for instance, is losing record numbers of jobs, according to the survey.
Additionally, the jobs being created are more likely to be low-skilled and low-paying employment, with most new positions arising in the health-care, accommodation, and service sectors.
Employers in Alberta and Saskatchewan have increased their recruitment efforts in places like Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada, according to Workopolis.com president Kelly Dixon. This reflects the continued trend of growth in the Prairie provinces, as well as the high unemployment rates in the Eastern Maritime provinces, where workers are more likely to relocate for jobs.
The health care sector’s growth is being attributed to Canada’s aging population, while gains in construction are mostly fuelled by government stimulus initiatives, though some experts point to a hot housing market in recent years.
Source: Globe and Mail