Let's shift our focus to a nation that's recently been showing a lot of promise - Canada. Tomorrow, when the clock strikes 11:00 am GMT, the country will release its labor market report.
According to estimates, the number of people employed for June grew by 20,000. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate is expected to have remained at 8.1%. Nevertheless, if the forecast holds, it will mark the fifth consecutive month of gains. The forecast, along with the results of the previous reports, suggests that Canada's labor market is pretty strong and is getting better and better...
With these snazzy employment figures, Canada's labor market definitely trumps that of its North American rival. Hah, take that Uncle Sam! Even though the US unemployment rate sank to 9.5% last month, Canada's jobless rate is still sitting pretty at 8.1%. Something tells me that even if the world suffers yet another economic slowdown from all these debt problems, the Canadian workforce could emerge relatively unscathed.
What's more is that the recent great news coming out from the Canadian labor market shows that the job growth was apparently driven by hiring in the private sector. This means that businesses owned by Canadian citizens have hired more workers, and that the rise wasn't simply the result of temporary government hiring (cough... the US census... cough). As of last May, year-on-year growth in private companies hiring stood at 2.8%, slightly higher than the 2.2% figure posted by the public sector.
The growth in the labor market can be attributed to the progress made in the transportation and health industries. Meanwhile, employment in construction has risen by 7.3%, reflecting relatively stable growth. Overall, employment is up 1.7% from levels a year ago. Time to celebrate?
If you ask me, this is a mini-victory in itself. The fact that the labor market is being powered by the private sector sends a big message that the Canadian economy may not need any more economic stimulus measures.
Now that brings me to another important point... Rate hikes! This upbeat outlook for Canada's labor market reflects the consistent strength of the Canadian economy, which continues to enjoy strong demand from both the local and international arena.
With all this economic muscle-flexing, is the Bank of Canada poised to "do an Australia" and implement one rate hike after another? If the labor market keeps on improving and maybe if Canada churns out a positive GDP reading... Well, another rate hike doesn't sound like a farfetched idea.