Wow. Those job numbershooo-weee.
Here the experts are, projecting a piddling gain of 17,000 or so jobs in Canada in September, and doesnt Statistics Canada come out with numbers that just blow the beancounters out of the water.
Last month, according to our national statistical agency, the economy added a whopping 51,000 jobs, bringing the official unemployment rate down to 5.9%–its lowest level in 33 years.
Clearly, the Canadian economy is firing on all cylinders. Times are good. A chicken in every pot. A job for everybody.
But wait, theres less here than meets the eye…
Just take a closer look at the numbers and youll see why theres in fact a lot to be quizzical about when it comes to employment in Canada.
Heres the thing, which you get to a little ways down in the Stats Can release, and I quote: In September, public-sector employment accounted for all [my emphasis] of the employment increase, spurred by gains in educational services and public administration.
In fact, public-sector employment has grown so far this year by 4.4%, far exceeding growth in the general economy. Meanwhile, private-sector jobs have grown by a mere 0.4% nationally. The number of government jobs grew by more than that (1.8%) in September alone.
In Ontario, the September numbers suggest the economy gained 30,000 jobs, but almost all were in public administration and educationand the lift in the former probably has to do with the upcoming provincial election.
Nationally, manufacturing, the second largest employer of any sector (after trade, which lost 28,000 jobs last month), lost more than 71,000 jobs between September 06 and September 07. Meanwhile, gains in public administration jobs have been 52,800a jump of 6.4% year over year, the highest increase of any sector after construction and utilities (both of which, by the way, were down for this September alone).
Now, this is the kind of thing that doesnt seem to get economists very exercised. For them, generally, a job is a job, and an economic input is an economic input, an output is an output. Whether money is spent in the public or private sector doesnt matter that much.
But anyone who pays taxes or runs a business might think it matters quite a bit. When I look at these recent job numbers, I ask myself: Is this a case of Canada working, or just your tax dollars at work in the name of bigger government?