Weekly Digest – 14 February 2024
Welcome to our Weekly Digest – stay in the know with some recent news updates relevant to business and the economy.
Canada’s economy added 37,000 jobs in January as unemployment declines to 5.7%
Canada’s economy added 259,000 jobs in February, surpassing expectations and reducing the unemployment rate to 8.2%, the lowest since March 2020. The gains were primarily in the retail and hospitality sectors, with full-time positions accounting for 80%. However, Canada’s labor market still has 599,000 fewer jobs than pre-pandemic.
RRSP deadline: Some experts say it’s best to ‘think twice’ before contributing
The deadline for Canadians to contribute to their Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) for the 2023 tax year is February 29, 2024. Contributions can reduce taxable income, potentially leading to a tax refund. Financial experts advise early and regular contributions, and warn against waiting until the last minute to contribute.
Misinformation now tops global risk ranking
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has ranked misinformation as the top global risk in its latest report. This includes false information about COVID-19 and climate change. The WEF states that misinformation threatens societal cohesion, worsens political polarization, and hampers crisis management efforts. The report also highlights the importance of digital literacy and media integrity.
Canada job gains double forecasts but wage growth cools
Canada’s job market exceeded expectations in February, adding 259,200 jobs, double the forecasted growth. Most of the gains were in part-time work and services sectors, including retail and hospitality. Despite the growth, wage expansion cooled, with average hourly wage rate growth falling to 5.8% from 6.1% in January.
Summary of Governing Council deliberations: Fixed announcement date of January 24, 2024
The Bank of Canada’s Governing Council held deliberations on January 24, 2024. The Council discussed the global economy’s impact on Canada, potential risks, and monetary policy decisions. The Council agreed to maintain the policy interest rate, citing stable inflation and moderate economic growth. Future decisions will be data-dependent.
‘All of a Sudden the Moment Is Here’: What It’s Like to Work As an AI Ethicist
Salesforce’s first Chief Ethical and Humane Use Officer, Paula Goldman, aims to ensure ethical use of AI. Goldman is developing a framework to guide the ethical and humane use of technology, including AI. She emphasizes the importance of transparency, accountability, and inclusivity in AI, and is working to prevent misuse of technology.
5 things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week
This week, the Canadian business world will focus on the Bank of Canada’s interest rate announcement, Statistics Canada’s jobs report, and earnings reports from several major companies. The coronavirus variant Omicron’s impact on the economy and the Supreme Court’s decision on the carbon pricing law will also be scrutinized.
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