Review of Economic Statistics — July 13, 2018

Release date: July 13, 2018

Review of Economic Statistics — July 13, 2018 - Transcript

(The Statistics Canada symbol and Canada wordmark appear on screen with the title: "Review of Economic Statistics — July 13, 2018")

(Background music plays while title card with the text "Review of Economic Statistics" appears on screen.)

Peter Frayne: Good morning. And welcome to the Review of Economic Statistics. I'm Peter Frayne.

Guy Gellatly: And I'm Guy Gellatly.

(Text on screen below presenters: "Peter Frayne, Head, Media Relations, Statistics Canada. Guy Gallatly, Principal Researcher.")

Peter Frayne: Today, Guy, we're going to be talking about employment data for June and international trade data for May. Now, let's start with the labour force numbers. What were some of the main findings in the June report?

Guy Gellatly: Peter, employment was up 32,000 in June, and that follows a couple of months of little change in that headline number. Most of the gains in June were on the good side of the economy, so higher employment in manufacturing and construction and natural resources. And a lot of that strength in manufacturing and construction was coming from Ontario. So, at the same time, the unemployment rate was up. It was 6% in June, as more people came in looking for work. So, this is similar to what we saw generally in terms of the U.S. employment data in their June report.

(Text on screen below presenters: "Employment rose by 32,00 in June as the unemployment rate increased to 6.0%.")

Peter Frayne: And now that we have the June report, we have the full picture of employment for the first half of the year. So, what were some of notable developments over that time?

Guy Gellatly: It's interesting. If you look back to the start of the year in January, there was that large decline in employment that started things off. Since then, employment has basically edged its way back near levels that we had at the end of last year. So, we're close to where we started, in effect. We do have some growth in full-time employment over that six-month period, although those numbers have been weaker in the last couple of months. Where we haven't seen growth is in private sector employees—those numbers are still down about 50,000 from where they were in December 2017.

Peter Frayne: Moving on to international trade data—and there's been quite a bit of interesting merchandise trade in recent months—what are the highlights of the May report?

Guy Gellatly: Well, in the May numbers, the merchandise trade deficit widened—it was up to 2.8 billion in May and that follows 1.9 billion in the April numbers. We had slightly lower exports in May. Exports were down 0.1%, although we did have some large offsetting movements. So, overall, we had, for example, lower auto exports. They were down pretty notably, but there were some supply disruptions south of the border that had an impact there. We had lower exports of metal ores and non-metallic minerals, and that coincides with some work stoppages in the mining sector. Now, offsetting some of that, we actually had some gains in exports of aircraft and of other transportation equipment in the month. Now, if you go to the import side of the ledger, imports are up 1.7% overall, and the strength there was really coming from energy and from aircrafts. So, I should note, for those who have been following developments in terms of Canada–U.S. tariffs, in that May report, there's a table that gives trade values for all of the products that are affected by those recent tariffs. So you can go right to the report and get that information there.

(Text on screen below presenters: "The merchandise trade deficit widened to $2.8 billion in May.")

Peter Frayne: Thank you, Guy. Also this week, Statistics Canada has released a new study on business ownership in Canada, for both incorporated and self-employed businesses. For more information, please visit our website.

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