Employment growth, Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey for June 2019Click image to enlarge

Employment increases and sustained wage growth marked the first half of 2019 as the Canadian economy posted the best first half since 2010.

The results were “stellar,” in the words of a Globe and Mail report. Nearly a quarter of a million jobs – 247,500 – were added over the six-month time period, with private sector and full-time employment leading the way. It was the strongest job increase since 2002. A record 106,500 jobs were added in April.

Average hourly wages increased 3.8 per cent in June compared to the same month in 2018 – the seventh consecutive month of what Douglas Porter, chief economist at BMO Capital Markets, called “hearty wage gains.” The uptick contrasts sharply with anemic wage gains in the rest of the industrialized world.

The forward momentum did stall in June, when the economy shed 2,200 jobs and the national unemployment rate climbed from 5.4 per cent – a 40-year low – to 5.5 per cent, due to an increase in people entering the workforce as reported by Statistics Canada. Economists had expected 10,000 new jobs to be added in June.

But the June results didn’t dampen analyst enthusiasm at the positive first half.

“After a string of stellar economic releases in recent weeks, June jobs couldn’t extend the streak,” Porter said, as quoted by BNN Bloomberg. “However, it doesn’t take much digging below the surface to find signs of underlying strength... For the Bank of Canada, the strength in wages and hours, and a still-low jobless rate will give them no reason to seriously consider matching Fed rate cuts anytime soon.”

The factory of the future at FABTECH 2016

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Magna forming electric vehicle joint ventures in China

Magna International Inc. has announced that it is forming two joint ventures with Beijing Electric Vehicle Co. (BJEV), China’s biggest electric vehicle manufacturer, to engineer and build EVs in China.

Canadian auto suppliers get opportunity at Magna

Canadian automotive suppliers will have an opportunity to present their capabilities to Magna International on June 24 during the Canadian Innovation Fair at Magna's Troy, MI, facility.

Interested suppliers were asked to submit their applications earlier in June and were contacted by APMA if they had been selected.

The Consulate General of Canada in partnership with the Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association (APMA) are being given an opportunity to showcase Canadian automotive capabilities at Magna's US facility. Canadian suppliers who apply for the opportunity, will be given the chance to meet with the company's purchasing and engineering managers.

Magna says it's interested in learning about new products, processes, materials or other innovations in the following areas: connected car (e.g. software, advanced camera vision); powertrain (e.g. alternate propulsion technologies); lightweighting (e.g. laser welded blanks, joining technologies); interior and seating systems; testing/production/material handling; and safety systems.

For more information, visit APMA online.

Welding group launches post secondary awards program

The CWA Foundation has introduced the Post Secondary School Awards program for Canadian welding students.

TRUMPF grows with Chicago expansion

TRUMPF plans to expand its operations with a new 50,000 sq ft facility in Chicago, IL, that will house a Technology Centre and a Centre for Excellence for Industry 4.0. The facility will be completed by mid-2017.

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