Thursday, August 21, 2014

Another Hamilton Homicide

After a long break in homicides in Hamilton after an early spree, 14 year old Jesse Clarke was stabbed to death. The homicide occurred around Lincoln Street and Gordon Street near Barton in ward 3.

The accused is 18 year old Brodie Nicholls. The homicide seems to involve multiple groups and Nicholls was injured. From what I've read Nicholls may have a self-defence defence but not a lot is known.

I've been trying to track the homicides in Hamilton this year. I thought this was the fifth, but Hamilton Twitter gadfly Mark-Alan Whittle tweeted it was the sixth. I'm going to try and find out and then update my list of Hamilton murders in another post.

Friday, August 15, 2014

July 2014 Canadian Jobs Numbers Revised Upward

So the previously reports July 2014 jobs numbers weren't as bad as previously declared by Statscan with 42,000 jobs gained rather than 200 in their revision released today.

However, the report was still mediocre overall despite the overall job number gain. The number of part-time job numbers stayed at 60,000 created, but the full-time job losses were reduced from 60,000 to 18,000. So full-time jobs still lost, although we created a bucket full of part-time jobs. Is Canada becoming a nation of part-time jobs? It would seem so, although perhaps it is more that places like Ontario are awash in part-time jobs and week on full-time jobs.

Rarely does Canadian economic news make doomster site Zero Hedge, but this revision did. From Zero Hedge's post:

  • Self employment fell 37K in July from 23.4K in prior month; self employment was originally reported as -29.2K
In other words, Canada mysterioualy had a swing of over 67K self-employed jobs in the month. Congratulations.
And so on. The bottom line: it is increasingly becoming the case that "unpleasant" official economic numbers are released, they show ugly "recessionary" data, and are subsequently revised much higher to stem the public outcry as analysts scream "bloody recession." 
The fact the shift was in self employment is pretty shady. Someone declaring themselves self-employed and full-time self-employed isn't economically the same thing as getting a full-time job with an existing firm. Anyways, it will be interesting to see how GDP growth for Ontario and Canada correlates with the overall employment numbers, especially the shift to part-time from full-time employment.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Where's the Ontario Finance Ministry First Quarter of 2014 GDP Numbers?

Last year on this date, the Ontario Finance Ministry released their financial update which included the first quarter of 2013 GDP growth numbers. I checked today and nothing yet. The first quarter numbers should be quite interesting and should shed some light on whether the province will make it's prediction for overall 2014 GDP growth of 2.1%.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Canada's July 2014 Employment Numbers Honk

Here's a Globe and Mail article with a short run down of July's employment numbers from Statscan. Noteworthy quotes:

"Statistics Canada’s monthly tally of hiring and firing produced a net gain of 200 positions last month, as a 60,000 increase in part-time jobs marginally outweighed a 59,700 plunge in full-time positions."

"The consensus estimate of economists on Bay Street and Wall Street was for an increase in total employment of 20,000. Canada’s unemployment rate dropped to 7 per cent from 7.1 per cent, but only because more than 35,000 people gave up looking for work, according to StatsCan’s report, released Friday in Ottawa."

Those are some poor numbers, especially the switch from part-time to full-time jobs. I'll do another post delving deeper into the numbers, especially the Ontario ones. Here's the post I made last month about Ontario's employment numbers. Considering the numbers have been so bad, I can't imagine second and third quarter GDP growth will be good in Ontario and Canada with these job numbers, especially the switch to more part-time positions.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Hamilton's Murder Rate in 2014

The year 2014 started with a bang for Hamilton homicides with three murders in the first nine days, followed by another in February. Since then nada (that I'm aware of). We're into August and if we make it until the end of the month murder free, that would be an annual average rate of six murders which I think is better than average for the city and slightly over one per hundred thousand of population.

Strange that after some rapid cold weather homicides that there's been none in the warmer months. Hot weather has been known to raise the murder rate in the US. This hasn't been the hottest spring or summer though.

Here's a post with a breakdown of Hamilton's four homicides in 2014.

Ontario Liberals Make Deal with Professionals Union

The Ontario government came to a salary agreement with the Association of Management, Administrative and Professional Crown Employees of Ontario. The four year deal included raises of 0%, 0%, 1.4% and 1.4%. This union has traditionally been the feeblest of the Ontario government unions so it isn't that shocking. Considering that inflation in Ontario is still quite low, this is likely overall an effective pay decrease in real terms over the deal, although who knows what inflation in Ontario will be over four years.

What will be considerably more interesting will be negotiations with the teachers' unions.