The monthly job numbers are turning into a proxy for tracking how government rules around the pandemic are affecting business decisions.

We got the November numbers earlier in December and they showed a decline in part-time work. That likely is a reflection of the new restrictions on operating hours for bars and restaurants as business owners respond to government decrees.

But we also saw increases in a couple areas. First, the tally of full-time positions grew while part-time was falling. And the number of people looking for work – the size of the employment pool – also grew. Both of those are positive signals …signs that employers are feeling some level confidence when adding new full-time positions and those who had given up finding a job returned to the workforce. That suggests they have discovered new confidence in the market’s ability to deliver opportunities.

But a larger workforce also means a higher unemployment rate – it rose almost half a point to 6.9 percent pushing into second place among the provinces on this count, as Nova Scotia has now moved ahead of us.

Source: Martin Charlton Communications