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(Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)
(Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

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Mark Carney warns of risks to the recovery, deflationary threat Add to ...

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Carney warns recovery at risk Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney warns the global recovery is at risk if the reforms pledged by the G20 aren't carried through. He's also troubled by the threat to Canada of the U.S. slowdown and the deflationary pressures popping up in major economies, according to the text of a speech he was giving today in Calgary.

"The current outlook is for continuation of a modest global recovery, balancing stronger activity in emerging market economies with weaker growth in some advanced economies," Mr. Carney said in the published remarks. "However, there are non-negligible risks on the downside. In particular, the current functioning of the international monetary and financial systems is beginning to force a wrenching real adjustment across major economies. Renewed weakness in the United States could have important implications for the Canadian outlook. In this environment, the bank will have to chart a careful course for Canadian monetary policy."

Three years in from the start of the financial crisis, Mr. Carney said that bank, household and sovereign deleveraging can be expected to "add to the variability and temper the pace" of the global rebound going foward. The current global monetary system, he added, promoted the huge buildup of debt in the runup to the crisis, and could complicate the "process of balance-sheet repair" that's needed.

"It is fostering deflationary risks in major advanced economies and asset-price inflation in emerging markets," the central bank chief added. "For countries like Canada, the outlook and policy environment remain unusually challenging."

Economy creates 36,000 jobs as teachers return Canada has now recouped the jobs lost to the recession, though the unemployment rate is actually climbing and has a long way to go before retreating to pre-slump levels. And those gains still don't make it a pretty picture.

Some 36,000 positions were created in August, Statistics Canada said today, while the jobless rate inched up to 8.1 per cent from 8 per cent as more people joined the labour force. Also notable in this morning's report were the 68,000 jobs added in the education sector. This had been expected given the drop of about 65,000 in the last report because of a July phenomenon that skewed the overall numbers. The recorded loss of jobs among teachers and administrative and support staff in July has been an annual event for the past few year as the nature of employment in the sector changed, with more use of temporary and shorter contracts.

"With the August rise, all of the recession's job losses have now been recouped," said BMO Nesbitt Burns deputy chief economist Douglas Porter. "Put another way, there are now more Canadians employed than ever before."

The Statistics Canada report shows 80,000 full-time jobs were added in August, while part-time positions fell by 44,000. Still, since the pickup began in July of 2009, growth in part-time employment has outpaced that of full-time work, at a pace of 4.1 per cent compared to 2.2 per cent.

Besides the education sector, the professional and scientific group also gained, as did the construction sector. Some 26,000 manufacturing jobs disappeared.

Given that the big gain was driven by the teachers, the report wasn't actually all that strong, and adds to evidence that Canada's recovery is losing some steam. "Because of seasonal distortions in both education and manufacturing this year, this is a cloudier report than usual," Mr. Porter said. "However, sifting through the many cross-currents in this release, the underlying story is on the soft side of expectations and consistent with a broader loss of momentum in the Canadian economy. Perhaps the back-up in the jobless rate in the past two months captures the story best, although it is still well down from the 8.7 per cent peak a year ago."

Mr. Porter and others note that while the rebound in numbers has been fast, in terms of reclaiming the more than 400,000 jobs lost in 2008 and 2009, that doesn't mean all is well.

"At about 1.5 million, the number of unemployed remains about one-third above its pre-recession peak, while the rate of unemployment has not only been edging up recently, but it remains about 2 percentage points above its level of two years ago," said TD deputy chief economist Derek Burleton. "A closer look at the reasons for part-time employment shows that a relatively high proportion of individuals are in those jobs involuntarily. Lastly, the soft increase in wages speaks to the ongoing slack in the labour market not to mention the fact that lower-wage service industries have accounted for a sizeable share of gains during the recovery."

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