Feds extend wage subsidy to Dec. 19; ease eligibility rules

Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced Friday that the federal government is extending its emergency wage subsidy program, which will now end Dec. 19. He said he hopes the extension will give companies confidence to re-hire workers. The Liberal government is also easing eligibility rules for the program, specifically by loosening the requirement of a 30-per-cent drop in revenues from 2019. Morneau said the new amounts to be paid out to eligible businesses will be proportional to revenue declines seen during the pandemic. The government’s proposed changes to the program are part of a bill that will be debated next week in the House of Commons

Macklem vows low rates ‘for a long time’

Canada’s central bank on Wednesday announced it is holding its key interest rate at 0.25 per cent and said it will keep rates at historically low levels for the foreseeable future in order to spur the nation’s economic recovery. The moves are aimed at lessening the debt burdens on Canadians and making it easier for them to borrow. “Our message to Canadians is that interest rates are very low and they’re going to be there for a long time,” Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem said at a press conference. The central bank vowed to keep the benchmark on hold until unemployment returns roughly to pre-pandemic levels and inflation returns to its two-per-cent target. That suggests rates won’t rise until after 2022. In an interview with BNN Bloomberg, Macklem said it’s going to be “a long climb back” to recovery. Read the full transcript of the interview here.

Shifting from Plan A to Plan B with your retirement savings

Many retired Canadians have seen their portfolios put to the test with ongoing market swings during the COVID-19 pandemic. And while it's hard to see the silver lining, CTV chief financial commentator Pattie Lovett-Reid says that now is a good time to stress-test your portfolio for the long haul. She explains, step-by-step, how to revise your retirement plan when original assumptions are thrown into question.

Child-care solution needed to curb prolonged recession: Economist

Women's participation in the labour force was at historically-high levels before the pandemic, but has since sank to its lowest level in more than 30 years. Economist Armine Yalnizyan said there will be no economic recovery without a "she-covery," stressing the importance of a child-care solution to help get women back to the workplace. An RBC Economics study of Statistics Canada jobs data found that even though women accounted for 51 per cent of job losses in March and April, only 45 per cent of the jobs gained in May and June were from women.

P.E.I creates most job postings in Canada, relatively speaking

If you're looking for job opportunities, you may have to head to Atlantic Canada. The nation's smallest province, Prince Edward Island, currently also has its highest number of jobs postings per capita. Analytics firm Top Data says statistics collected from job website Indeed.com showed that the province had 1,161 job postings per 10,000 people, as of July 13. The Atlantic province ranks way above its peers, with Nova Scotia (741-per-10,000) and Ontario (643-per-10,000) coming in second and third place, respectively. Meanwhile, Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are at the bottom of the list.

ETFs take the guesswork out of investing amid uncertainty

There’s no doubt that uncertainty around COVID-19 is weighing on investors. Whether you’re a retail investor or a multi-billion-dollar portfolio manager, picking a stock remains a best guess, according to personal finance columnist Dale Jackson. He says that’s where exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have an advantage when it comes to managing risk. “It’s hard to know where the broader markets go from here, as the threat of a second wave of COVID-19 persists. And that’s why buying the entire market might be better than throwing darts at individual stocks,” he says.

More Canadians are ditching cash for cards during COVID-19

Canadian consumers are changing their payment habits to reduce contact with others during the pandemic. A survey by McKinsey & Co. shows that 26 per cent of Canadians have increased their use of contactless payments and 42 per cent have cut back on using cash. The study also noted Canadians' growing reliance on digital-banking platforms, with 23 per cent of respondents saying that they will visit physical branches less often for transactions even after the pandemic passes.

The ABCs of investing in annuities: Ask BNN Bloomberg

Many investors are looking for other options to provide guaranteed income during their retirement years amid the uncertainty created by the pandemic. BNN Bloomberg got an expert to examine the ins and outs of adding annuities to a retirement plan. Mia Karmelic of IG Wealth Management talks about the different kinds of annuities and the considerations one needs to take into account when investing.


"Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and move on by focusing on developing the skills you lack. COVID has just emphasized how important this is!" —Suncor Energy CEO Mark Little, offering  career advice for people job hunting during the pandemic

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