Canada Releases Atrocious Jobs Data; Then Revises It Above The Highest Estimate Following Public Outcry

A week ago, Canada released a jobs number that was a simply put a disaster: instead of creating the 20,000 jobs analysts had expected, the country's Statistics bureau reported that a tiny 200 had been added in the month of July, following a drop of 9,400K the month before. This promptly led to screams of pain and howls of bloody murder - after all the data is clearly not allowed to show negative trends: as the Globe and Mail reported, National Bank chief economist Stéfane Marion was among the more optimistic forecasters, with an expectation that July will actually show a net gain of 30,000 jobs and who immediately took offense with the report.  "That was mind-boggling,” he said. “These are numbers we don’t see outside recessions. I just don’t believe we’re in a recession, so therefore I would expect the full-time employment numbers to be [higher].”

And sure enough, since one can't possibly have a recession in a centrally-planned world, just hours after the release, and following the outcry from the cognitive dissonance, Statistics Canada yielded to pressure for a correction and promptly admitted it had made a mistake and was forced to correct its report. However instead of pulling a laughable ISM "seasonal adjustment glitch" excuse, the agency said it failed to count workers who should have been categorized as full-time employees, even though it clearly did count most full-time employees. Just not those that were critical to keep the illusion going.

Which is why this morning it was take two for the Canada jobs print, which was as follows: In July, Canada employment increased 41.7K in July according to Statistics Canada's second attempt, from -9.4K in prior month. This was about 41K higher than the previous "erroneous" print, and double the original estimate: high enough to make everyone happy. In fact, it was so high, it surpassed the highest range of the forecast, which topped out at 41.4K based on 20 economists.

The biggest variable was in the net change in full time employment, which dropped by -18.1K in July from 33.5K in prior month. This compared to an original print of -59.7K in the "erroneous" number. Offsetting the weak, if revised, full-time jobs number was part time employment which rose 59.9K in July from -43.0K in prior month. Obamacare now in Canada too? The good news, this was "less" than the original part-time report of +60.0K.

Other revisions:

  • Private employment increased 54.6K in July from -21.0K in prior month; private employment was originally reported as +26.3K
  • Public employment increased 24.2K in July from -11.9K in prior month; public employment was originally reported as +3.2K
  • 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." Rinse, repeat... At least until the revisions can no longer mask the actual truth of the underlying data.

As for Canada Statistics, it was confident this wholesale, and very laughable error, was an "isolated incident." At least until next time.