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Employment in the US with variations, markets mixed

Canadian employment flat while Asia and Oil volatile

US employment growth steadies; varied sectors, stable demographics. Canada stagnates. APAC markets mixed. Oil surges amid tensions

United States & its’ Sectoral Dynamics

In December, the U.S. labor market grew by 216,000 jobs, maintaining the unemployment rate at 3.7%. Despite this overall stability, sectoral variations were notable. Sectors like government, health care, social assistance, and construction continued to flourish, contrasting with job losses in transportation and warehousing.

Long-Term Employment Concerns

Long-term unemployment, involving individuals jobless for 27 weeks or more, stayed stagnant at 1.2 million, contributing to 19.7% of all unemployed persons, raising concerns despite the steady numbers.

Employment Metrics

However, a slight decline was noted in the labor force participation rate and the laborforece-population ratio, both dropping by 0.3 percentage points in December. Additionally, 4.2 million individuals worked part-time due to economic reasons, reflecting a rise of 333,000 from the previous year.

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Canada’s Labor Landscape

Canada’s labor market reported stagnation in December, maintaining the unemployment rate at 5.8%. The employment scenario showcased diverse trends across demographics and industries, painting a nuanced picture of the economy.

Demographic & Employment Sectoral Shifts

Employment growth among core-aged men (25 to 54) increased by 0.4%, while young women aged 15 to 24 saw a significant 1.0% rise. Conversely, older men (55 and above) experienced a decline of 1.1% in workers. Professional services grew by 2.4%, health care and social assistance by 0.6%, and “other services” by 1.5%. However, wholesale and retail trade faced a 0.7% decline, and manufacturing witnessed a 1.0% decrease.

Provincial Disparities

Significant year-over-year wage growth of 5.4%, reaching $34.45 in December, marked robust earnings compared to the previous year’s 4.8% rise.

Asia-Pacific Market Volatility

The Asia-Pacific region witnessed a mixed performance in its stock markets, reflecting the varied sentiments and reactions to regional and global events.

The numbers

While Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose by 0.27% and South Korea’s Kosdaq surged by 1.39%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and South Korea’s Kospi faced significant declines of 2.8% and over 3% respectively. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 extended its decline for a third day, marking a 0.07% decrease, summing up to a 1.3% drop for the week.

Oil Market

Oil prices surged by over $1 amid escalating tensions in the Middle East. Brent crude futures increased by 1.7% to $78.93 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose by 2.2% to $72.81. These fluctuations followed concerns triggered by substantial increases in U.S. gasoline and distillate stocks, driving short-term volatility.

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