Is this for BeReal?

Getting candid about food prices

Good morning. If it feels like time is flying by, it's not just your imagination. Scientists claim Earth spun faster (by 1.59 milliseconds to be exact) than usual on July 29, marking the shortest day on record since the 1960s. Scientists aren't sure what's causing Earth to spin faster, but it sounds concerning? What's the rush, Earth? 

In this edition:💼 Latest job numbers🍎 Food = $$$⚱️ Your digital afterlife 

— Vindhya Kolluru, Editor

*Market data as of 9:00 pm ET Sunday, August 7.


Jerbs, jerbs, jerbs 

Credit: Christin Hume / Unsplash

Canada's labour market is hotter than #hotgirlsummer. According to Statistics Canada, the country's unemployment rate remained steady at 4.9% in July, a historic low.

What happened: Statistics Canada said our labour market lost 30,600 jobs last month, catching economists by surprise. These losses were concentrated in the services, education and health sectors, according to CIBC senior economist Andrew Grantham. It's the second month in a row of job losses, as Canada notches more than one million job vacancies.

Why it matters: Economists expected that Canada would have added 15,000 jobs last month, so you can imagine their shock at learning our country actually lost jobs. Labour force participation has also declined as more women have left the workforce. It's a sign that companies are struggling more than ever to attract and retain workers, and that our economy may not be able to match supply with demand.

Zoom out: This mismatch is one of the factors driving inflation up to decades-high levels. Bank of Canada governor Tiff Macklem said the central bank expects inflation to hover around 8% for the next few months, and get back to its 2% target sometime in 2024. 

— Vindhya Kolluru

On our radar

  • Halifax-based Sandpiper Ventures raised more than $20 million for its first fund to support women-led startups. The fund was launched by the Atlantic Women's Venture Fund more than two years ago to address the gender imbalance in Canada's venture capital sector. As of 2019, just 13.5% of partners at Canadian venture funds were women.

  • Anca Gardea, the co-founder and CTO of Kolors, spoke to TechCrunch about the importance of empathetic leadership and how her company is disrupting bus operations in Mexico City.

  • Popular beauty company Glossier struck a deal to sell its products at Sephora in 2023. It's Glossier's first major business decision since Kyle Leahy took over CEO duties from founder Emily Weiss.


We're going for the generic ketchup...

Credit: gemma / Unsplash

High inflation is hitting low-income Canadians the hardest, according to the Toronto Star, making it harder for them to afford everyday items like food and housing. Although it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise (hello 2018 bread fixing scandal), some Canadians, including NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, are calling out Canada’s major grocery chains for making record profits amid soaring inflation, which he calls “profiteering.”

The deets: The annual rate of inflation sits at 8.1%. Meanwhile, amid historical food inflation, profits are soaring up to 40% at grocery chains. A Toronto Star investigation dug in further to Canada’s three largest grocery chains — Loblaws, Metro, and Empire — to compare profit margins before and after the pandemic. 

  • In 2019, Empire’s profit margin was just 1.2%, while Loblaw’s was 1.9% and Metro’s was 3.3%. In Empire’s case, that marks a 135% increase over the course of the pandemic. Loblaw’s profit margin has soared 91%, while Metro’s shot up 41%. 

Why it matters: For younger Canadians, food inflation is one of the many factors adding to the rising cost of living. This generation finds themselves sacrificing spending on restaurants, concerts (how was that $1,000-per-ticket OVO Fest view?), and travel on essentials.

  • The bad news is that Canadian food suppliers are warning that more price hikes will arrive this fall for staples like milk and cheese.

What now? Rather than hole up inside and doomscroll on TikTok, personal finance expert Danica Nelson shared a few tips with The Canadian Press to help people figure out how to navigate a period like this and make their hard-earned cash go further: 

  • Set up a budget to plan for everyday expenses to help fund bigger purchases.

  • Swap expensive social outings for lower-cost ones, like bike rides, picnics or park hangs.

  • If you don't have one already, create an emergency fund. In the best of economic times, it’s a good idea to have $$$ saved for unexpected events. Don't know where to start? Here's a guide.

— Sabrina Dotsch

Other things we read and we liked 

💜 We love the powerful story behind the best $4 this person ever spent. 

😥 With news of tech industry layoffs, we know many people are now in search of new jobs. Here's how to look for one when everything feels so hopeless. 

👀 From life lessons to obituaries, more people than ever are posting personal stuff on LinkedIn. What's driving it?

🍭 If you love retro vending machines, you'll want to add this adorable Japanese town to your travel bucket list. 


Erin Bury on planning your digital afterlife 

Credit: Becca Lemire

Today, Btchcoin is spotlighting Erin Bury, the CEO and co-founder of Willful.

Look, no one really enjoys thinking about their mortality. But given that 56% of Canadians don’t have a will, it’s a conversation that Bury thinks more people should be having with their loved ones. Founded in 2017, Toronto-based Willful set out to help Canadians take the pain out of making end-of-life arrangements through its online platform. 

Her favourite books and podcasts: For a podcast, I love We Regret to Inform You, a Canadian podcast on stories about failure. I have a million book recommendations, but one of my favourite business books is The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. It's all about habit formation and how to make things automatic in your life. On the fiction side, I love The Midnight Library by Matt Haig, which is about the different paths you can take in your life and the impact your actions have.

Her WFH essentials: I need my MacBook, AirPods, a second screen, and a stocked kitchen because I feel like I'm one of those people who snacks every two hours. (Relatable.) 

Her morning routine, in one word: Peloton. 

For all her favourite recommendations and insights, including Bury's advice to anyone just starting out in their career, read the full Q&A here

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