Canada lost 9,000 jobs in July, Statistics Canada recently reported. That was after six months of solid back-to-back increases totaling over 300,000 new jobs in the first half of this year.
Relative to most other countries, Canadians have had little to complain about on the jobs front.
From October 2008 to July 2009, Canada lost 400,000 jobs in the recession. These have all since been recovered. The U.S. lost 8.4 million jobs from December 2007 to December 2009. Some progress has been made in reducing that shortfall this year, but the current level of employment in the U.S. is still 7.7 million below what it was before the abrupt change in job prospects.
In September 2008, just before the stock market crashed and the recession began in Canada, employment in construction peaked at 1.250 million. Nine months later, Canada’s construction jobs level was down to 1.130 million (-120,000). Over the past year, there has been a steady climb back up to 1.224 million, or almost a complete recovery of jobs lost during the recession.
Year-over-year employment in construction in Canada is now +8.6%. In the U.S., the comparable figure is -6.3%. While that figure certainly looks bad, it is actually a considerable improvement versus the -17.4% year-over-year performance for the U.S. in September 2009.