Feb. 7, 2020

NORTH AMERICAN EMPLOYMENT DATA

  • CANADA: added 35,000 jobs (all full time) in January; unemployment rate 5.5% vs 5.4% in December, led by Quebec and Manitoba.
    • Alberta lost 18,900 jobs (mostly part-time); unemployment rate 7.3% vs 7.0% M/M
      • Edmonton lost 1,800 jobs; unemployment rate 8.2% vs 8.1% M/M
      • Calgary lost 8,100 jobs; unemployment rate 7.2% vs 7.1% M/M
  • UNITED STATES: added 225,000 jobs in January vs 165,000 expected; unemployment rate 3.6% vs 3.5% M/M.
    • Average hourly earnings up 3.1% Y/Y
    • Major annual revision showed that 2018 and 2019 produced more than 500,000 fewer jobs than reported

CANNABIS COMPANIES WOES

  • Aurora Cannabis CEO Terry Booth stepped down yesterday being replaced by Executive Chair Michael Singer as interim CEO.
    • Announced 500 job cuts representing 10% of the work force (operates in 25 countries)
    • Also halted construction on 2 facilities in November
  • Tilray Inc cut 10% of it’s 1,443 workforce on February 4th as part of a global restructuring effort to reduce costs.
  • Canopy Growth founder Bruce Linton was fired in July 2019.
  • Currently there are about 200 cannabis companies in the Canadian market with annual sales of around $1 billion.
  • 2 of which, AgMedica and Wayland, were granted creditor protection in December.

CORONA VIRUS UPDATE

  • Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses ranging from the common cold and pneumonia to severe diseases like SARS and New Coronavirus.
  • Incubation period for New Coronavirus is 14 days.
  • 67% of all diagnosed cases and 97% of all deaths are in Hubei province in China.
  • Less than 1% of all patients are outside of China.
  • While infections in Hubei are still growing by the thousands each day, infections are slowing in the rest of China.
  • More than 8,000 medical workers have gone to Hubei, mostly to the 27 hospitals in Wuhan. They are still short about 2,250 doctors and nurses.
  • More than 50 million people have been locked down in a dozen cities in China.
  • Chinese oil demand has dropped 20% because of the lockdown.

TIDBITS

  • Canadian exports to China dropped 16% since the arrest of Huawei’s CFO.
  • Canada is imposing speed limits on trains hauling dangerous goods and hauling more than 20 cars for the next 30 days.
  • Royal Dutch Shell is building its first large-scale solar farm near Brisbane, Australia as it expands into power generation.
  • Average wages in 22 developed countries rose just 0.7% between 2000 and 2018 or less than half the average annual GDP growth rate over the same period. (McKinsey Global Institute)
  • Finland is now giving new fathers the same amount of paid time off work as new mothers.