Getting caught up on a week that got away? Here’s your weekly digest of the Globe’s most essential business and investing stories, with insights and analysis from the pros, stock tips, portfolio strategies and more.
Canadian job outlook changes in July as unemployment rate hits 5.5%
Canada’s economy unexpectedly shed jobs in July, but the unemployment rate rose to 5.5 per cent – ticking higher for the third straight month. Job growth has been exceptionally strong through the first half of 2023, but the latest numbers suggest signs of a cooling labour market which may take pressure off the Bank of Canada to raise interest rates again in September. The central bank has been intentionally trying to weaken the labour market as part of its fight against inflation. Some economists, however, aren’t ruling out the possibility of another interest rate hike, Mark Rendell reports.
Banks quietly shedding roles
After a rush to hire in recent years, Canada’s biggest banks are now quietly slashing jobs under the radar to avoid government scrutiny. According to reporting from Jameson Berkow and Stefanie Marotta, recruiters say the broader trend of bank layoffs is happening in “the cloak of darkness” so it doesn’t hit the public radar. Why? If a bank is planning to fire 50 or more employees within a four-week notice, it would have to give written notice to a federal bureau (Employment and Social Development Canada) at least 16 weeks in advance. If the cuts stay below that threshold, employers are only required to provide the standard two weeks written notice – or the equivalent in severance – to employees.
Costs of federal debt interest spike in Canada, U.S.
The United States saw its credit rating downgraded by Fitch Ratings earlier this week, citing rising debt at the federal, state, and local levels. That means America’s interest costs on federal debt are also on the rise. Canada is seeing a similar pattern, with the country on track to see interest costs rise to more than $44-billion next year, meaning more money to service debt that could otherwise go to public services and government programs. Jason Kirby takes a closer look in this week’s Decoder.
Why nobody can seem to solve Canada’s massive hacking problem
Hacking is a bigger problem now than ever before – especially in Canada. Over the past year, many high-profile Canadian organizations have been hit, including the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, the Prime Minister’s Office, grocery giant Empire Co. Ltd., the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, and others. Cyberattacks can grind entire businesses to a halt, but what’s worse is hackers seem to be one step ahead of everyone else. Temur Durrani and Susan Krashinsky Robertson report on Canada’s cybercrime problem, looking into the criminals behind these attacks and how they operate.
Alberta to pause new solar and wind power projects for six months
This week, Alberta announced a six-month pause on renewable energy projects in response to rural and environmental concerns. The provincial government is putting on hold all applications for wind and solar projects that would produce more than one megawatt of power, so it can review where they can be built and how they will affect the province’s power grid. The province also plans to consider rules to guide what happens to these installations when they reach the ends of their lives, reports Emma Graney.
TD economist says interest rate hikes will collide with hiring fatigue next year
Next year will be a “make-or-break year,” according to Toronto-Dominion Bank chief economist Beata Caranci. That’s when the full impact of the Bank of Canada’s interest rate hikes, which started in March, 2022, will hit the economy. Jennifer Dowty recently spoke with Ms. Caranci for more economic insights, including her forecasts for the economy, inflation, interest rates and the housing market.
Now that you’re all caught up, prepare for the week ahead with the Globe’s investing calendar.
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