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Jobs, jobs... jobs?

The February labour statistics came out on Friday, and they weren't good. After rebounding somewhat from December's losses in January, the country once again shed jobs last month, and StatCan specifically noted in their report that
"There has been little overall employment growth in Canada" over the past six months.

Things weren't all bad, though. Over the past twelve months, Canada has gained around 94700 jobs; 28700 in Ontario, 5200 in Saskatchewan, and a whopping 82300 in Alberta. If that doesn't seem like it adds up to you, you're right. Newfoundland and Labrador, PEI, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Manitoba, and BC have all actually lost jobs over the past year. After substantial gains across the country from February 2012 to February 2013, job growth has stagnated or disappeared altogether in every province except Alberta. While the unemployment rate remains unchanged from a year ago, the participation rate has fallen by half a percentage point. That means that while the same percentage of the workforce is having trouble finding a job, the rate's only stable because a smaller chunk of the population is looking for work. We haven't had this small a percentage of people looking for a job since 2001.

It seems now that the government's laser-like focus on job creation is an unqualified success, but only because their actual focus has been on creating jobs in the oil and gas sector, and to a lesser extent, the advertising sector. Just watch any of their tens of thousands of Economic Action Plan ads and count the number of pipelines and enormous trucks carrying sand that you see.