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Canada’s Unemployment lowest since 1970’s

Canada continues to strengthen economically; something which is evident in the latest news that the country’s unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in more than 40 years.

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According to a Statistics Canada’s unemployment rate fell to an impressive 5.7 percent, the lowest in the current data series that begins in 1976. An article in Bloomberg said that Canada added 394,200 full-time jobs last year, the biggest gain since 1999. The gains last year were led by services with 290,300 new positions. Goods-producers added 132,100 jobs, with an 85,700 increase in manufacturing that was the strongest since 2002.  These figures were released by Statistics Canada in Toronto last week.

South Africa’s picture is particularly more gloomy with an unemployment rate of a whopping 27,2%.  According to an article in trading economics South Africa’s unemployment figure rose by 103 thousand to 6.08 million while the number of employed fell by 90 thousand to 16.29 million. They continue to state that the unemployment rate in South Africa averaged 25.57 percent from 2000 until 2018, reaching an all-time high of 31.20 percent in the first quarter of 2003 and a record low of 21.50 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008.

The latest IMD World Competitiveness Rankings paint a grim picture of South Africa’s youth unemployment, with the country ranked No 62 out of the 63 countries surveyed.

The country fares even worse when it comes to total unemployment and is ranked bottom on the list.  The country was ranked No 53 in the global competitiveness rankings.  This information paints a picture of a very uncertain future for many young South African’s who are necessitated to look aboard to find employment.

Canada ranked 10th in the same survey, proceeded by the Nordic countries with Denmark, Norway and Sweden rank 6th, 8th and 9th respectively. These countries show strong performance in the overall productivity of the private sector and its management practices.

GDP Growth

Further good news for the Canadian economy is that exporters are seeing a strengthening in business after a recent month’s long slump.  Statistics Canada confirmed that shipments jumped by 3.7 percent in November, the biggest one-month gain in more than a year.  Economists are of the opinion that this too contributed to the drop in unemployment rates.

South Africa’s GDP growth rate, in comparison over the same period, grew by 1.7%.

Salaries and Wages

To add to confidence in the Canadian economy is the fact that Statistics Canada also reported a rise in wages, which had been stagnant for much of 2017. Wage gains for permanent employees accelerated to 2.9 percent, from 2.7 percent.  South African economists are expecting very similar wage increases.

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Inflation

Canada's inflation rate rose to its highest level since 2011 last month.  Statistics Canada said on Friday that the consumer price index hit an annual rate of 3 per cent in July. That's up from 2.5 per cent in June, which was already the highest level in more than six years.

In comparison South Africa’s inflation, although it is seen as having slowed down to 4.4% from 4.7% in December, is still higher than Canada’s.  This is according to a report by Statistics South Africa released on its website on Wednesday.

 

 

Source: Bloomberg, Statistics Canada, StatsSA and IOL

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Canada unemployment rate