As we know from last week the US added 114,000 jobs in September. North of the border in Canada a country with a bit more than 10% our population added 52,000 jobs in the same period. This would be the equivalent of adding a half a million jobs in the US. So bravo Canada! However there is more. On top of this big job gain the unemployment rate went up a tenth of a point to 7.4%.
The reason for the rise in unemployment despite the relatively good news? A rise in the workforce participation rate! So while the biggest driver this year in all month except September in lowering the US jobless rate has been driving people off of work and onto welfare Canada has been going in the opposite direction since the summer.
So while the US unemployment rate declines mostly because of people dropping out of the workforce Canada is experiencing the opposite with heartened working age citizens trying to get back to work. What does Canada have that the US doesn’t? A strong right of center business friendly government not afraid to develop energy resources for starters.
If you look at headlines saying unemployment in Canada is rising and falling in the US you would think we are doing better than they are so bravo President Obama. However Canada is in the low 7% range and been there all year while we just fell below 8% for the first time in 4 years. Look at the numbers more with Canada adding a higher proportion of full time work, more high skilled jobs in IT, and a spike in self employment I’d take their employment prospects compared to the US.
So look at the numbers! All the numbers!