Chris Lau - Seeking Alpha

Friday, January 09, 2009

Rapid Stats: Employment Figures

I love numbers. It is sexy. You can report all sorts of numbers, and they can be twisted in a way that suits a situation. However, there is nothing good to report from the numbers below. I believe that Canada is only going to start to see increased unemployment, especially in the oil/energy and automobile sector of the economy.

  • The U.S. unemployment rate is 7.2 percent in December, the highest level in 16 years, as nervous employers slashed 524,000 jobs
  • The unemployment number, however, wasn't. And the 7.2% unemployment rate -- which rises to a whopping 13.5% if you use the broader figure which includes the underemployed as well -- is very, very scary

  • Canada's jobless rate up 6.6% in December 2008, an increase of 0.3%
  • Weakness in the construction industry was a major factor in the December jobs report, with 44,000 jobs lost in the sector. Statistics Canada said
  • Employment edged down in most provinces, with Alberta posting the largest loss as it shed about 16,000 jobs. The province's unemployment rate rose by 0.7 percentage points to 4.1 per cent, but that was still the lowest in the country.