Canada Hit By Huge Job Losses

Canada hit by huge job losses
'Dismal' data confirms recession

Mario Toneguzzi And Eric Beauchesne
Calgary Herald; Canwest News Service;
Published: Saturday, December 06, 2008

The Canadian economy lost a much greater than feared 71,000 jobs in November, the worst monthly loss in more than a quarter century — and a taste of what's to come–while the U. S. lost more than half a mil-lion more jobs, bringing the losses there since that recession began a year ago to nearly 1.9 million.

“With today's dismal employment reports, there is no doubt that the Canadian economy is in recession and the U. S. contraction is accelerating,” said BMO Capital Markets chief economist Sherry Cooper.

In Alberta, there was a net loss of 3,700 jobs in November, which comes on the heels of two months of very strong job growth, and the unemployment rate in the province actually dropped to 3.4 per cent in November as more people left the workforce, said Todd Hirsch, senior economist with ATB Financial in Calgary.

“Due to the pressures of the slowing global economy, turbulent markets and tight credit conditions, cracks are starting to show in the jobs market,” said Hirsch.

He said job losses in Alberta were overwhelmingly in full-time work (8,900)with offsetting gains in part-time positions.

“Given the global economic malaise and drop in energy prices, some job losses in Alberta are certainly to be expected,” said Hirsch. “Still, over the first 11 months of 2008, employment is up a strong 2.9 per cent compared to the same period last year.

“But without question, that pace will moderate in the months ahead. Alberta's job market will not manoeuvre through this downturn completely unscathed.”

According to Alberta Employment and Immigration, the province's unemployment rate was 3.4 per cent in November, down from 3.7 per cent in October. It remains the lowest in the country.

Calgary's unemployment rate in November was 3.7 per cent, down from the 3.8 per cent in October, but up from the three per cent registered in November 2007.

“It is clear that the worst is yet to come on the employment front, with the unemployment rate creeping up steadily towards seven per cent,” warned CIBC World Markets economist Krishen Rangasamy. He said the economy could easily lose a further 100,000 jobs over the coming few months.