Dec. 6, 2019


  • Canada: After holding steady in Oct. employment fell by 71,200 (forecast +10,000). Unemployment rate increased to 5.9% from 5.5%. Quebec lost 45,000 jobs and Alberta lost 18,000. Unemployment in AB rose by 0.5% to 7.2%.
  • US: Non-farm payroll increased by 260,000 (forecast +187,000). Unemployment dropped to 3.5% vs. 3.6%, matching earlier lows set this year and in 1969. Wages rose by 3.1% vs. 3% in October.  General Motors strike might directly and indirectly account for nearly 54,000 new jobs.


  • Data just released shows 2017 median income was $45,800 for an Alberta student who completed a technical or training certificate in 2012.
  • Median income for students with an undergraduate degree was $66,700; $89,900 with a master’s degree.
  • Median income for professional degrees in law, medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, optometry, or pharmacy was $106,400 in 2017.
  • Alberta’s undergraduates in architecture, engineering and related technologies from 2012 was $87,300.
  • Stats Canada shows female students who graduated in 2012 have lower 2017 median incomes than their male counterparts for all major credentials.
  • There are 70% more women graduating with an undergraduate degree than men, but the income gap is $9,900 in favour of male graduates ($72,600 versus $62,700).


  • Alberta’s credit rating was downgraded ever so slightly by Moody’s to Aa2 stable from Aa1 negative. Moody’s “opinion of a structural weakness in the provincial economy that remains concentrated and dependent on non-renewable resources…and remains pressured by a lack of sufficient rebounding oil related investments…continued spending cuts will be needed”.
  • Alberta exported $103 billion of goods to the US in 2018, representing 87.3% of our province’s international trade:
    • Oil and gas accounted for 76.4% of exports to 37 states. Include coal, petrochemicals and plastics, this sector increased to 86.5% delivered to all 50 states. Agriculture was $4.2 billion or 4.1% and wood and paper $2.8 billion or 2.7%, also delivered to all 50 states.
  • Trans Mountain Pipeline finally starting putting pipe in the ground this week west of Edmonton. TMX will take 3 years to complete, triple the current capacity to 890,000 bpd, and includes enhanced leak detection. The Crown corporation has restarted work at its terminal sites.


  • Due to American sanctions, Huawei is moving its Silicon Valley Research Centre from US to Canada, having already cut 600 of 850 jobs. The speed of the move will depend, in part, on transferring staff into Canada. Today the company already has more than 1,100 employees in Canada. Huawei has one of the world’s largest corporate research budgets, close to $17 billion. ($164 million already allocated to Canada for 2019).
  • October saw Canadians file the highest number of personal insolvencies in a decade. In the past year, Alberta has seen more than 16,500 consumer insolvencies, up 14.9% y/y, versus 8.9% nationally.
  • In 2020 Canadians families will pay $12,667, nearly $500 more, on food at grocery stores and restaurants. Climate change, food trends, diet and our new federal food policy are some of the reasons for the increases.


  • 2019 is turning out to be a one of the worst years ever for the auto industry with Daimler AG and Audi announcing almost 20,000 job cuts in the past week. All told 80,000 jobs will be eliminated during the coming years with most cuts coming in Germany, US and the UK. The global auto industry will produce 88.8 million cars and light trucks this year, an almost 6% drop from a year ago and forecasting 78.9 million in 2020, the lowest level since 2015.
  • The US consumer spent a record amount over the 5 day Thanksgiving weekend; $361.90 on average this year vs. $313.29 in 2018. Black Friday shoppers made more purchases online (142 million) than in store (124 million).
  • US homeland security proposes face scans for all travelers entering and exiting the US, by the summer of 2020. This includes US citizens.