Oh hooray, the jobs numbers are in.
Will you help us grow Btchcoin?
We’re always looking for ways to raise $ to pay our volunteer writers – and we’re so grateful for those who have contributed directly to our Buy Me a Coffee page. If you can chip in, we’ll be able to put our money where our mouth is and pay womxn for their time and talents.
The job market sucks pretty bad again…
…and to be honest, we’re hardly surprised.
That’s right folks. Job Seekers in Canada have had a pretty bumpy start to 2021.
Last week, Statistics Canada revealed that our economy saw 213,000 jobs lost in January, with the unemployment rate rising by 0.6 percentage points to 9.4%. That’s the highest figure we have seen since August of last year.
AND to add insult to injury, economists estimated that we were only in for a loss of 47,500 jobs in January – just a TEENY bit off the mark there guys.
A good portion of the losses were experienced by part-time and service sector jobs, with the vast majority taking place in Ontario and Quebec. In fact, with the exception of Newfoundland, most other provinces actually made marginal gains – so it’s not all bad… right?
That being said, this is the second consecutive month that the Canadian employment has shrunk, with December witnessing a loss of 67,000 jobs. Ouch.
We won’t sugarcoat it. These job losses are a whopping blow for Canada on our road to economic recovery out of this pandemic, and most certainly not the way we wanted 2021 to start off.
Will things get better? Absolutely. Will they get better, like, anytime soon? Probably not. But we promise to keep you posted either way.
But could a strong economy pique our interest?
Jobs numbers aside, the economy could be in better shape than we thought – but what will that mean for interest rates?
While the job numbers released last week help keep our optimism measured, many economists believe that our economy could be back on track faster than we thought.
Why? A report released on Friday showed that November and December saw higher GDP growth than expected (8% instead of 4.8%), despite lockdowns across the country. After this pleasant surprise, we’re all crossing our fingers that the economy might grow in Q1 too.
Any other reasons for optimism? The Federal government has committed to $100 billion in stimulus spending, $70 billion of which will be spent in the next three years. This will provide a major boost to our economy and accelerate our economic recovery.
Ok, so tell me about interest rates… Right now, and since March, the interest rate has been a record-low 0.25%, and the BoC has indicated rates will stay low until the economy recovers, which they expect to happen in 2023. But, if the economy recovers faster, the BoC might increase that interest rate, making it more expensive to borrow.
A quick aside: The Bank of Canada (BoC) sets the national interest rate (aka the cost to borrow money) to help incentivize people to spend, thereby stimulating the economy. As individuals, high interest rates are ideal if you’re saving money because your money grows faster in a savings account, but they’re not great if you’re borrowing money for something like school or a house because the cost to borrow is higher. Read more here.
Any caveats? Our economic recovery hinges on a few things including our ability to get the virus under control, access rapid testing, and rollout vaccines (things could be going better in that department).
In the spirit of looking for good news wherever we can find it these days, we remain cautiously optimistic!
Hit me with your best shot…
…Or really any shot at this point.
The vaccine drama continues with shortages across the country. You may recall that shipments from Pfizer have been reduced as European manufacturing facilities undergo upgrades. To make things worse, shipments from Moderna are also being curtailed. Moderna’s vaccine uses the same mRNA technology as Pfizer, but does not require scientific-grade freezing, making it ideal for distribution in the Territories and Indigenous communities.
Things were touch and go for a bit with Canada caught in the middle of a spat between Britain and the European Union over exports of the vaccine. Luckily, the EU confirmed that shipments of vaccines from Europe to Canada won’t be disrupted.
With all of the speedbumps that have kept vaccines from getting into arms, many are wondering why Canada isn’t producing its own vaccine at home. The federal government seems to agree. Last week they announced new investments in domestic manufacturing capacity and Canadian vaccine candidates. A deal has also been struck between the feds and Novavax, the producer of another vaccine candidate, which may see domestic production by the fall! *insert fingers crossed emoji here.*
If you want to know more about different types of vaccines and their approval status, check out this helpful tool from CBC!
Other things we read and we liked:
It’s officially Black History Month! We at B*tchcoin are taking the time to learn, honour, and reflect upon Black history here in Canada and around the world, starting with some incredible Black Canadian women. And stay tuned for a more in-depth feature later this month. In the meantime, check out the work Black Women in Motion is doing, and how you can support them.
Say what you will about millennials, but we do love our public transport.
For the current and former servers (or any other sub-minimum wage employee) out there: an analysis of why that system sucks.
Could you imagine #WFH life with brutally slow Internet? Apparently, that’s the case for over two-thirds of Torontonians, and the City is planning to fix that with a public Internet network.
Two of our contributors Srivindhya Kolluru and Ai-Men Lau recently voiced the need for better financial literacy in light of the WallstreetBets rally. Check it out in the Globe and Mail!