Economics

The Daily Chase: Jobs numbers in Canada and U.S. are out

A representative speaks to a job seeker during the Vancouver Job Fair, presented by Work BC and operated by YWCA Metro Vancouver, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018.

Here are five things you need to know this morning:

Canada shed jobs last month: Canada’s economy came in well below expectations on the employment front this morning, with new numbers from Statistics Canada showing the job market shed 1,400 positions in June. That’s well below the roughly 25,000 jobs that were expected to be added and the more than 40,000 that would have been required just to keep up with growth in the labour force. As a result, the jobless rate inched up to 6.4 per cent. That’s the highest level since 2022. The weak jobs number increases the likelihood that the Bank of Canada will feel comfortable cutting its benchmark interest rate again later this month.

U.S. adds almost 210,000 jobs: The U.S. economy, meanwhile, added 206,000 new jobs last month. The figure came in ahead of expectations but still represents a slowdown from the hiring pace seen through most of 2023. Despite the new jobs, the U.S. unemployment rate ticked up to 4.1 per cent as more people joined the labour force, too. The relative slowdown in hiring, alongside cooling inflation, bolsters expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will start cutting rates later this year too. While there’s a slim chance of a cut when the Fed meets later this month, the odds of a cut jump to almost 75 per cent for the following meeting in September.

Ottawa signs off on Glencore-Teck coal deal: The federal government has signed off on the US$6.9 billion deal that will see Glencore buy Teck Resources’ coal business. Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said the government has given its OK to the deal to sell Elk Valley Resources as long as a number of “stringent conditions” are met, including a requirement for Teck to reinvest a significant portion of the proceeds into its copper portfolio, which the government views as a critical mineral. The CEO of TSX-listed Teck told Bloomberg that the deal marks a new era for the Vancouver-based miner, allowing the company to move its focus to other metals, including copper. Separately, Teck announced that it will be buying back $2 billion of its own shares.

Yukon says it has detected cyanide in water near Victoria Gold’s Eagle Mine: The Yukon government says it has detected elevated levels of cyanide in a waterway near Victoria Gold Corp.’s Eagle Mine following a landslide at the site last week. The territory’s mining minister told local media on Thursday that heightened levels of cyanide were detected in a creek near the mine site. Cyanide is toxic to humans and animals, but it is a key component of the gold-mining method in use at that site and many other gold mines. The company suspended production at the site following a landslide last week, wiping up 82 per cent of the value of the shares. The company is disputing the notion that any cyanide has made its way into local waterways, saying in a statement Thursday that “continued environmental surface water quality sampling at multiple points downstream of the property has not detected any cyanide.” The stock gained 30 per cent in early trading on Thursday before giving up most of those gains in the afternoon and closing up 11 per cent.

Netflix and Paramount fight Canada’s new 5% streamer tax in court: U.S. streaming giants including Netflix, Disney and Paramount are asking Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal to quash or amend a recent law that requires them to pay a five per cent tax on revenues in Canada and contribute to a fund aimed at helping Canadian content producers. The Motion Picture Association-Canada, which represents all three companies and more, says it doesn’t oppose the idea of a new tax in principle, but it does oppose the requirement that they pay a 1.5 per cent base contribution to a new fund aimed at helping Canadian news production. The CRTC estimates the new fund will raise roughly $200 million annually. The U.S. giants call the new surtax “discriminatory,” and say the requirement to fund news specifically is “unreasonable.”