One Lap Behind

The Week Ahead

March 13, 2017

There was much to cheer about in the latest readings on North American job markets. Both the US and Canada have had a string of solid employment gains, and in both the indicators of slack are diminishing.

On one score, Canada looks to be a full lap ahead. Employment is 1.4%-pts above the US as a share of the adult population. The two countries were tied on that measure back in 2007, but the deeper recession stateside seems to have sidelined more Americans from participating in the labour market. Some are still coming back, a reason why the Federal Reserve sees leeway to hike rates so gently. But the recession sent many Americans permanently into early retirement or disability rolls, while others bear prison records from “tough on crime” policies that discourage them from seeking work.

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