Canadian Jobs Data August 2012 - Not all that boring

After a disappointing decline in July of 30,000 jobs, Statistics Canada reports that Canadian employment rose by 34,000 in August.  While most job gains on a year-to-date basis have been full-time, the mild bounce back in August was primarily in part-time work.

The Canadian unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7.3% compared to the United States at 8.1% as the gap between Canada and United States narrows.
Furthermore, Statistics Canada is well known for its unreliable and inexplicable anomalies in their employment reports meaning that, by their standards, 30,000 one way or the other is statistically insignificant.  In other words…. “Yawn”.
In a similar report, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that Americans gained 96,000 jobs in August. Given that the US population is 10 times that of Canada, it is safe to classify the American performance as equally blasé.  Admittedly, 100 thousand here and 100 thousand there will eventually accumulate into millions of jobs for needy families. 12.5 million American remain unemployed in the face of a long a slow recovery.  In comparison and for perspective, it is interesting to note that the entire Canadian workforce is only 18.8 million people and 1.37 million remain unemployed.
For the temporary staffing services industry, August is typically the beginning of the busiest season of the year with hours reaching a crescendo somewhere in late November.  The Association of Canadian Search Employment and Staffing Services (ASCESS) produces Canada’s most reliable employment data in their monthly Canadian Staffing Index which collects and reports over 10 million real hours worked in Canadian staffing firms.  ACSESS reports a 29% increase in year over year hours through to the end of July.  It is thought that the Staffing index is a 30 to 90 day leading indicator of other employment and economic measures.  An increase in temporary help hours typically means that assignments are growing in duration and frequency which eventually translates into more regular employment.  Conversely, a decrease in the staffing index (after seasonal and holiday adjustments) is an ominous foreboding of a turn for the worse.  

In StatCan’s typical unreliable form, they report that the construction sector had the largest one month decline in jobs of 44,000 representing a 3.4% crash.  I don’t need to rely upon my economics degree to suspect that real decline was because construction companies were too busy to answer the silly survey questions.   
Transportation and Warehousing posted the largest employment gains per sector and business, building and other support services posted the second largest monthly gains.  Transportation and Logistics expert Scott Cull from FLS Transport says that "business is hopping with the busiest lanes running from US manufacturers into Canadian markets and new markets emerging due to the droughts which are driving significant changes in where produce comes from and goes to".  
Provincial Summary
In light of the insignificant monthly change, the following is a year over year comparison from August 2011 to August 2012.
- Aug 2011 to Aug 2012 -
Jobs Created/Lost
% change
Newfoundland and Labrador
Jobs Created
6,900.0
3.1
Full-time
10,000.0
5.4
Part-time
(3,100.0)
-8.4
Prince Edward Island
Jobs Created
0.0
0
Full-time
(200.0)
-0.3
Part-time
300.0
2.5
UnJobs Created
300.0
3.2
Nova Scotia
Jobs Created
1,300.0
0.3
Full-time
(4,500.0)
-1.2
Part-time
5,700.0
6.6
Jobs Created rate
...
New Brunswick
Jobs Created
800.0
0.2
Full-time
1,400.0
0.5
Part-time
(500.0)
-0.9
Quebec
Jobs Created
24,500.0
0.6
Full-time
6,500.0
0.2
Part-time
18,000.0
2.4
Ontario
Jobs Created
24,300.0
0.4
Full-time
11,400.0
0.2
Part-time
12,700.0
1
Manitoba
Jobs Created
5,300.0
0.9
Full-time
8,500.0
1.7
Part-time
(3,200.0)
-2.6
Saskatchewan
Jobs Created
18,600.0
3.6
Full-time
12,200.0
2.8
Part-time
6,400.0
7.4
Alberta
Jobs Created
43,300.0
2.1
Full-time
56,400.0
3.2
Part-time
(13,200.0)
-3.6
British Columbia
Jobs Created
51,700.0
2.3
Full-time
70,300.0
4
Part-time
(18,600.0)
-3.5

Hint:  When they say “Social Media Recruitment gets access to the passive candidate”, it does not mean that a recruiter or candidate can passively wait for something to happen.  Social networking requires active participation, engagement and communication.  The phone still works.  If you want to develop a relationship of trust and confidence with a recruiter or candidate, you might try talking.

Steve Jones
Staffing Leadership

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