Friday, October 11, 2013

Canadian Labour Market Survey - September Surprise Data!


Finally, Statistics Canada reports believable numbers suggesting that employment was relatively unchanged in September.  The unemployment rate dipped under 7% as fewer youth searched for work.   

Shockingly, the numbers bureau reported a decline in youth job seekers during September when students returned to university and college.  So much for seasonal adjustments but common sense prevails over their typical strange revelations. 


In recent months, Statistics Canada’s has portrayed a roller coaster of economic ups and downs.  The wonky monthly data has proven to be unreliable and inaccurate. It is important to note that the Canadian Labour Market Survey is just that… a “Survey”. The monthly report is not intended to be a fact but that doesn't stop money traders and stock brokers from overreacting to the numbers, It's best to just stand back and observe the silliness.

Unemployment Rate

 

If the economy was really as volatile as the numbers suggest, we would all be in a persistent state of anxiety. The agency reported 11,000 jobs created in September, with 59,000 created in August, job losses in July and a massive 95,000 jobs gained in June.   


Employment and staffing industry professionals know there are far more reliable sources of information than the Statistics Canada Ouija Board Report.  For starters, the Canadian Staffing Index produced by ACSESS (Association of Canadian Search, Employment and Staffing Services) is the largest Canadian sample of actual hours worked and should be viewed as one of the more reliable job indicators.  


According to StatsCan, Canadians gained 212,000 since last September, representing an increase of 1.2%. The number of workers in the job market also grew a similar pace.   Disappointingly, job creation continues to grow faster in part-time employment than full time.  

From the ACSESS website, “The Canadian Staffing Index was 113 in August. The index was unchanged from August a year ago, when the index was also 113.”    The Canadian Staffing Index is based upon actual hours worked for a significantly large sampling of temporary staffing providers in Canada. It is based upon the number of billed hours and is not seasonally adjusted.
  
"The August value of 113 is unchanged from a year ago, which implies flat or slightly positive growth in demand given that there was one fewer working day this August compared to a year ago. For most of 2013, the index has shown a trend of very minimal year-over-year growth in overall demand," says Timothy Landhuis, Research Analyst at Staffing Industry Analysts.

It will be interesting to see how the markets react to the ho-hum information.  My advice continues to be “Buy low, sell high and don’t read too much into the Statistics Canada Ouija Board report on the Labour Market”.




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