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The duelling pressures of collecting jobs data

Every day ROB Insight delivers exclusive analysis on breaking business news and market-moving events. Streetwise offers news and analysis on Bay Street and the world of finance. Inside the Market delivers up-to-the-minute insights on market news as it develops.

Here are our editors' picks of some of the best reads available to Globe Unlimited subscribers this week.

Let's have a survey on jobs surveys

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So it was a processing error due to a system update at Statistics Canada that fouled up last week's Labour Force Survey on jobs for July (rumour had it that someone forgot to carry the seven, or their calculator batteries died). But the prompt about-face and withdrawal of the report highlights a major weakness in the way Canada reports hiring trends. When big shifts in the employment landscape can potentially cause big swings in markets, it's crucial that reported numbers don't wildly miss the mark. In ROB Insight, David Parkinson looks at the two main gauges of Canada's job market and explains how precision often comes at the cost of timeliness.

Another suitor hangs up on Wind Mobile

Yet another attempt to dilute the hegemony of Canada's Big Three of wireless looks to have fallen flat after it was reported that private equity group Blackstone has backed away from plans to buy Wind Mobile. Money doesn't appear to have been the big issue, but rather the raft of uncertainties around investment needed to bring the company into profit. In Streetwise, Boyd Erman looks at the financial challenges and regulatory roadblocks that even the deepest-pocketed players face in trying to break into the Canadian market.

Money managers flock to value

For those concerned that recent market volatility could signal a bumpy ride ahead for stocks, you're in good company. Money managers have been pulling in their horns a bit, boosting cash and leaning in the direction of less-expensive "value" stocks, according to a recent BofA survey. In Inside the Market, David Berman takes a look at what the pros have been up to of late, and the reasoning behind their change of tack.

Two numbers keeping Fed move at bay

There's a dizzying array of metrics the U.S. Fed relies on to chart its course on monetary policy, and in the era of cheap money and rock-bottom rates, they are constantly being raked through by market watchers to look for signs pointing to when the inevitable rate hikes must come. But there are two gauges of what's going on in the U.S. economy that are for now keeping any move at bay. In ROB Insight, Kevin Carmichael examines the numbers and explains why they play a key role in Fed decision making.

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How pricey are the Bix Six?

Canada's big banks are on an absolute tear, so investors thinking of jumping in will want to gauge just how expensive the stocks are. In Streetwise, Tim Kiladze compares current and historical valuations and examines whether the recent rally has put them on the frothy side.

Sound ETF portfolios, done dirt cheap

While there are undeniable benefits of seeking professional investment advice, those looking for a low-cost way to build their own portfolio could do worse than assembling a balanced collection of ETFs. In Inside the Market, Rob Carrick outlines how to put together a prudent portfolio with a total fee of just 0.15 per cent.

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