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business briefing

Briefing highlights

  • Many workers using cannabis
  • Stocks, loonie, oil at a glance
  • U.S. gains 263,000 jobs
  • Required Reading

On the job

Many Canadians are consuming cannabis before or at work, raising questions about safety on the job.

About 514,000 people, or an estimated 13 per cent of workers now using cannabis, consumed it before going to work or while they were working, Statistics Canada said in a study this week, using findings from the fourth quarter of last year and the first of this year.

“In addition to operating a motor vehicle soon after consuming cannabis, the risk of harms associated with use may be present in the workplace,” Statistics Canada said.

“While the likelihood of engaging in this potentially dangerous behaviour did not differ by age or gender, it did vary by cannabis use frequency,” the agency added.

“Over one-quarter (27 per cent) of daily or almost daily consumers reported using before or while at work, compared with 7 per cent of other cannabis consumers.”

In its first complete look at the period following legalization of marijuana, Statistics Canada also found that 18 per cent of us aged 15 and up, or about 5.3 million people, said they used cannabis in the first quarter.

That compared to 14 per cent a year earlier.

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Markets at a glance

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U.S. pumps out jobs

The U.S. economy is churning out jobs, driving unemployment to its lowest level in almost half a century.

Employment climbed by 263,000 in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said today, far surpassing what economists had expected.

The jobless rate, in turn, eased to 3.6 per cent, down from 3.8 per cent in March to mark the lowest rate since December 1969.

“The labour market once again defied expectations for softer hiring tallies and further raised the bar for Fed rate cuts,” said Toronto-Dominion Bank senior economist Leslie Preston.

“While most of the focus recently has been on inflation undershooting the Fed’s 2-per-cent target, the labour market is clearly in no need of stimulus.”

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Trucks to boost targets, Fiat says

From Reuters: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCA) said new U.S. pickup truck models would help the automaker achieve its 2019 profit targets and offset a weak performance in the first quarter.

TransCanada profit up

From The Canadian Press: TransCanada Corp. topped expectations as it reported a profit of $1-billion in its latest quarter, up from $734 million a year ago, as its revenue edged higher. Profit of $1.09 a share compared to 83 cents a year earlier.

Tesla raises offering size

From Reuters: Tesla Inc. raised the size of its planned share offering to 3.1 million shares, priced at US$243 apiece, and said chief executive officer Elon Musk would now buy stock worth up to US$25-million, more than double his initial commitment.

Required Reading

Vancouver slump deepens

Home sales in the Vancouver region slumped to a 24-year low in April, with prices off 8.5 per cent over the past year as the market downturn deepens. Brent Jang reports.

Goodbye, variable-rate mortgage

Only the most dedicated variable-rate mortgage fans are staying loyal today, personal finance columnist Rob Carrick writes. Everyone else is moving over to fixed-rate five-year mortgages. And with good reason.

Stock pros failed

Most stock picking pros failed to prove their worth as markets tanked last year. Investment reporter Tim Shufelt reports.