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Hours worked by Canadian workers fell by 1.9 per cent in April, despite the market adding 15,000 net new jobs, indicating yet another increase in work absences due to illness.

In fact, April proved to be one of the worst months of the pandemic with 9 per cent of employees off work due to illness. The lifting of Covid-19 restrictions in combination with the lifting of mask mandates across Canada are most likely contributing to the increased cases of illness, sparking another pandemic wave. The one saving grace is that April’s worker illness number wasn’t as high as January’s 10.4 per cent rate.

The 15,000 net new jobs were also a bit of a disappointment. Higher numbers were expected after two very solid months which saw 409,000 jobs added.

The unemployment rate meanwhile has reached a new low of 5.2 per cent.

“With 826,000 unfilled job vacancies, employers are desperate to hire; I expect the unemployment rate to drop below 5 per cent in the coming months,” said Stephen Tapp, chief economist with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

Tapp added he is also still waiting for stronger signs of wage pressures.

“Average hourly wages were only up 3.3 per cent year-on-year, which remains well below the current rate of inflation (6.7 per cent),” Tapp said.

Quebec firm is ESAB's first NA automation partner

ESAB Welding and Cutting Products has named AGT Robotics, Trois-Rivieres, QC, as its first North American automation partner in its Integrator Partnership Program.

Global growth spurt forecast for metal machining sector

UK-based research firm Technavio forecasts the global metal machining market is poised to grow by US$14.76 billion during 2020-2024 at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of almost four per cent during that period.

B.C. flooding affected 28% of manufacturing plants: StatsCan

Despite the gains in manufacturing sales observed for November, supply chain issues continued to impact production in many industries key to job shops, including transportation. Moreover, floods in British Columbia further exacerbated the situation.

New Magna group to focus on emerging technologies

Magna International wants to make sure it's on the leading edge of technolgoies for the automotive industry and it's setting up a "technology advisory council" to provide direction to the company and help to identify business opportuniities.

Mitsubishi EDM, Matsuura partner on 3D manufacturing

MC Machinery Systems Inc., Wood Dale, IL, owned by Mitsubishi Corp., is partnering with machine tool builder Matsuura Machinery Corp., Fukui City, Japan, to introduce a 3D hybrid milling machine to the North American market (Canada and the US).

Renishaw breaks ground on new NA headquarters

Renishaw has broken ground on its new  12,356 sq m (133,000 sq ft) facility in West Dundee, IL, which will become the company's North American headquarters. The facility is slated for completion in June 2016.

Philip Fassnacht joins M4Sciences

Philip Fassnacht is the new vice president of sales and marketing for M4 Sciences LLC, a manufacturer of drilling systems for CNC machining operations.

Elliott-Matsuura, LVD Strippit partner with All Fabrication Machinery

Elliott-Matsuura Canada Ltd., Oakville, ON, LVD Strippit, Akron, NY, and All Fabrication Machinery, Leduc, AB, have formed a partnership for Western Canada.

Abicor Binzel makes changes to Canadian operations

Etienne Blouin

Etienne Blouin has been promoted to head a new Environmental Systems Group at Abicor Binzel.

2018 was a great year for these Canadian automakers

Despite the uncertainty in Canada’s automotive industry following GM’s announcement that it will close its Oshawa plant, some Canadian manufacturers saw record sales in 2018.

Ottawa, Ontario invest in next-generation auto tech

Ottawa has announced an investment of $40 million in BlackBerry QNX software for connected autonomous vehicles.

Hurco machinist publishes 5 axis book

Mike Cope, a machinist and a product technical specialist at Hurco, has published a book about five axis machining technology. The Power of FIVE: The Definitive Guide to 5-Axis Machining book was officially released this month at an industry conference, Top Shops, in Indianapolis, IN. 

Bank of Canada holds key rate, downgrades economic forecast

The Bank of Canada, citing the sharp drop in oil prices and consequent softness in the economy, is holding its benchmark interest rate steady at 1.75 per cent.

Sandvik Coromant, Xerox division partner for digital manufacturing

Sandvik Coromant is partnering with PARC, a Xeroc company to strengthen its capabilities in digital manufacturing.

GF AgieCharmilles changes name to GF Machining Solutions

GF AgieCharmilles has changed its name to GF Machining Solutions to better reflect the company's divisions. GF's technology offerings include milling, EDM, laser texturing, spindles, tooling and automation.

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