These are difficult times for all of us. Negative news jams the airwaves, and everyday a new challenge presents itself. The world is waiting anxiously for a vaccine for COVID even as case numbers rise and the death toll continues its upward climb. There’s light at the end of the tunnel but there’s more tunnel for us all to trudge through nonetheless. In an ocean of bad news, Tembo would like to outline some positive economic and financial news that’s accumulated in the last several days.
First, Statscan released its job numbers for the month of November. The results are positive nationally and provincially. Ontario gained over 36,000 jobs, while the national gain was over 60,000. This marks the sixth straight month of job gains for our province. COVID-19 cost Ontario 1,150,000 jobs, a huge hit to our economy. We’ve regained over 905,000 of the jobs we’ve lost. In addition, we’ve gained over 145,000 manufacturing jobs in Ontario in those six months, this takes total manufacturing employment to over 13,000 above our pre-COVID levels – a very impressive and positive feat. Keep in mind that there’s significant investment expected in the auto manufacturing sector in the next few years, over $5 billion. Ford, GM, and FCA (Fiat Chrysler). All of these firms have tentatively negotiated big plant investments with Unifor (the union that represents autoworkers). In one case, Ford is going to reconstruct the Oakville Assembly plant to build electric vehicles and GM is set to reopen its now closed Oshawa plant.
All of this manufacturing investment will have huge spin off implications, and will see smaller manufacturers increase hiring and invest more to service the production. And that’s just a snapshot of auto manufacturing, a small piece of the manufacturing puzzle. Despite all the ‘doom and gloom’, there’s lots of positive news out there. With these job gains, Ontario’s unemployment rate has fallen from 9.6% to 9.1%. There’s more. Further statistics showed that the household savings rate is up as people tighten their belts and put money aside. 3rd quarter GDP in Canada rose at its fastest rate in history, and national statisticians all noted the positive upswing and contribution the nation’s red hot real estate market has had on the overall economy. So, there’s a bit to smile about. Stay safe!