Canada comes up short on jobs

NationalPost.com – news/Canada
Friday, Jan. 28, 2011.   Paul Vieira, Financial Post

Canada can no longer claim to have recouped all the jobs lost during the recession. The economy is roughly 30,000 jobs short, according to Statistics Canada.

The data agency revealed Friday that it has revised its labour data to reflect 2006 census figures, as opposed to using 2001 population data.

“The employment increase from July 2009 to December 2010 based on the new estimates was not as strong as with the old estimates,” Statistics Canada said in a paper discussing the changes.

However, it added the unemployment rate, at 7.6% as of December, remains unchanged.

Based on the revisions, the agency says 428,000 jobs were lost between October 2008 and July 2009. From July 2009 to last month, the revised data suggest 398,000 net new jobs were created – meaning there is 30,000-job gap.

Previously, Statistics Canada had declared the economy recouped the recession’s job losses by last August, a data point oft repeated by the federal Conservative government in defending its record on the economy.

The data, prior to revisions, had indicated the economy lost 417,000 between October 2008 and July 2009, whereas between July 2009 and last month roughly 463,000 net new jobs had been generated.

Statistics Canada said the new estimates of employment are slightly lower overall due to the lower population estimates. “Despite the slightly lower levels, however, the new (revised) and old (unrevised) employment estimates track closely, following the same trends,” it said.

For the provinces, employment levels were revised downward by 1% or more for New Brunswick (-2.4%); British Columbia (-1.9%); Newfoundland and Labrador (-1.8%) and Prince Edward Island (-1.1%). The only upward revision was in Alberta (+0.8%).

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