This Week’s Top Economic Data Points: Canada Adds Jobs
- The Canadian economy added 48,300 jobs (32,400 part-time and 15,800 full-time) in January, well above the job growth level that analysts had predicted. Nearly half of the new jobs were in the finance, insurance, and real estate industries. The national unemployment rate fell to 6.8 percent in January from 6.9 percent in December.
- The U.S. trade deficit fell to $44.3 billion in December 2016 from $45.7 in November 2016 due to a $5 billion increase in exports and just a $3.6 billion rise in imports. The trade deficit for 2016 was higher, however, rising 0.4 percent from December 2015 to December 2016. The goods deficit fell to $65.7 in December 2016 from $66.9 billion in November 2016 while the service surplus rose. In other trade-related news, the U.S. Labor Department announced that U.S. import prices increased 0.4 percent in January while export prices advanced 0.1 percent.
- According the U.S. Labor Department, the number of individuals who filed for federal unemployment benefits for the first time fell to 234,000 during the week that ended February 4 from 246,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims also declined and was at its lowest level since November 1973. The number of individuals who continued to file for jobless benefits increased to 2.078 million for the week that ended January 28 from 2.065 million the week before. The four-week moving average of continuing claims declined. In other labor-related news: there were 5.5 million jobs open in the United States at the end of December.