Apr. 5, 2019

EMPLOYMENT IN NORTH AMERICA

Canada

  • Canada lost 7,200 jobs in March, mostly full-time positions.
    • Unemployment rate is unchanged at 5.8%
  • Alberta lost 1,800 jobs in March; unemployment rate 6.9% vs 7.3%
    • Edmonton lost 1,400 jobs; unemployment rate 7.1% vs 7%
    • Calgary added 5,400 jobs; unemployment rate 7.7% vs 7.6%

United States

  • United States added 196,000 jobs in March; February was revised up to 33,000 from the 20,000 previously announced.
  • Unemployment rate unchanged at 3.8%
  • Average hourly earnings grew 3.2% Y/Y vs 3.4% Y/Y in February

CANADA

  • Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says lifting US tariffs must be part of ratification of USMCA. US Democrats want more concessions from Mexico on labour standards.
  • Environment Commissioner Julie Gelfand said that Canada is not on track to meet its climate-change targets.
    • A federal study indicated that Canada’s climate is warming at 2x the global rate.
  • From 2006 to 2018 new home construction in the GTA was short almost 100,000 units.
  • GTA March home sales were flat in March.
  • Vancouver March Y/Y home sales dropped 31% (up 16% M/M).

BELLATRIX EXPLORATION – HOW A BILLION DOLLAR NATURAL GAS CO DECLINED

  • 2014 Bellatrix Exploration was worth $2 billion, $11.27 per share; this week is $0.26 per share.
  • Bellatrix has proposed to swap $245 million of their debt for notes maturing at a later date as well as some new issued shares.
  • New share issue will account for 83.5% of total equity and will severely dilute existing shareholders.

SENIORS AND DEBT

  • StatsCan says the proportion of senior families carrying debt jumped to 42% in 2016 vs 27% in 1999.
    • Median debt-to-income ratio for seniors was 52% in 2016 vs 24% in 1999
    • 14% had more consumer debt than income vs 4% in 1999
  • Nearly 80% of US parents give some support to their adult children (nearly $500billion/year).
  • Nearly 70% of US parents are willing to delay retirement to pay for their children’s college.

TIDBITS

  • Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan Chase CEO, in his annual letter to shareholders, said that “true freedom and free enterprise (capitalism) are, at some point, inexorably linked” and that “socialism inevitably produces stagnation, corruption and often worse”.
  • Federal Judge has blocked President Trump’s bid to restore Arctic oil drilling.
  • Alaska governor asks President Trump to grant a rail extension to Northern Alberta.
  • More than 1 million acres (405,000 hectares) of US farmland were flooded by the March “bomb cyclone”, most of which will likely not be able to be planted this year.
  • Walmart unveiled a voice-activated, google powered shopping system.
  • Google will require its contracting companies to give employees health care, parental leave and other benefits.