Friday, March 06, 2015

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Tavia Grant, Bill Curry and David Kennedy discuss CIBC's analysis showing that Canadian job quality has falled to its lowest level recorded in the past 25 years:
Several reports have concluded that the country’s job market is not as strong as it looks and now a study from Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce paints an even worse picture. According to the bank’s analysis, job quality has fallen to its lowest level in more than two decades. A CIBC index that measures 25 years worth of data on part-time versus full-time work, paid versus self-employment and compensation trends, has fallen to its lowest level on record.

The Bank of Canada’s new measure of labour market indicators also showed “slack” in the jobs market and it has noted “ongoing labour market challenges” such as a low participation rate among core-aged Canadians. Another report from the Toronto-Dominion Bank last month pointed to more weakness than the unemployment rate suggests.

The trend has implications for the broader economy. A lack of hours along with a prevalence of lower-wage jobs and self-employment underscore why many households are having difficulty shoring up savings and why consumer spending may taper off this year.

As household finances get squeezed, the risk is that debt – already near record levels – could grow further, leaving people more vulnerable to any type of economic shock.
- Wojtek Gwiazda interviews Jordan Brennan about the connection between corporate trade agreements and inequality. And Joan Fitzgerald discusses why water and other essentials need to be responsibly managed as public goods, rather than being used solely as short-term profit centres.

- Carol Goar writes that several provincial governments have made it more difficult to develop an effective national pharmacare system by needlessly slashing their provincial programs.

- Andrew Coyne slams the Cons' latest attempt to equate preposterous sentencing restrictions with a defensible crime policy. And Ashley Csanady examines some of the flaws in more detail - with a rightful focus on the absurdity of putting an individual's freedom in the sole hands of a minister.

- Finally, Rick Mercer rants about the Cons' politics of fear:

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