Some unusual numbers in Statistics Canada’s latest unemployment data, released Friday, have some economists questioning the accuracy of the monthly report.
Will Dunning, who works as the chief economist for mortgage industry group CAAMP, pointed to StatsCan data showing that, of the approximately 59,000 net jobs created in Canada, 45,500 came from the Toronto area.
Dunning describes that number as impossible.
“The data for Toronto suggests that employment grew by 1.5 per cent in just one month,” he said in an email to HuffPost. “If that was correct, it would be equivalent to 19 per cent per year. Employment just does not grow that quickly.”
Dunning says Toronto is under-represented in StatsCan’s survey, creating errors in the data.
“StatsCan could make a really big improvement to the data quality by doubling the sample size for Toronto. Currently, one-sixth of the country [the Greater Toronto Area] is represented by only three per cent of the sample, which is a recipe that guarantees bad data at the national level.”
Even taking the numbers at face value, the impressive growth in total jobs in August masked some confusing (and less-than-impressive) trends underneath.
Though the net number of jobs added tripled economists' expectations, and the unemployment rate dropped a notch to 7.1 per cent, a closer look at the numbers shows inconsistent job growth between regions and demographics.
Seven of 10 provinces saw job growth for the month, with Ontario and Alberta leading (and Toronto evidently taking the lion’s share), while Quebec, Manitoba and P.E.I. saw a small decline in their total number of jobs.
And interestingly, most of the job gains went to older workers, those aged 55 and up.
“By contrast, employment levels were little changed for youth and those persons aged 25 to 54,” TD Bank economist Sonya Gulati said in a statement.
And about three-quarters of the net job growth was in part-time positions, a “not too rosy development when it comes overall labour market quality,” she wrote.
With the data all over the map, Dunning isn’t the only one questioning its veracity.
“Let’s just say this result is not going to bolster anyone’s confidence in the accuracy of Canada’s jobs reports,” BMO economist Doug Porter wrote.
The StatsCan report is a survey, similar to opinion polls. StatsCan polls 55,000 households to assess their work situation, but even that large sample size yields a margin of error of 53,400 jobs, 19 times out of 20. That margin of error means this month's job increase of 59,000 could be as little as 6,000, or as much as 112,000.
Dunning and some other economists say more attention should be paid to StatsCan's Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours, which they say is more accurate because it uses actual payroll data from the Canada Revenue Agency, on top of a survey of businesses.
But that survey comes out with a two-month lag; the latest available at the moment is for June.
Sarah Polley - $100,000
The former child star of Anne of Avonlea can earn millions making movies, but 2012 was a slow year for her, Maclean's reports. Busy raising a child, Polley likely only earned $100,000 in the form of an award for her documentary, Stories We Tell. NOTE: An earlier version of this slideshow identified Polley as the child star of Anne of Green Gables. We regret the error.
Rob Ford - $172,803
The mayor of Canada's largest city doesn't draw the largest mayoral salary. Calgary's Naheed Nenshi pulled in $201,839, while Mississauga's legendary Hazel McCallion pulled in $187,057.
Alison Redford - $211,000
The premier of Alberta raked in the largest salary of any premier last year. Ontario's Kathleen Wynne comes in secod, with a salary of $209,272. The range of premiers' salaries is pretty large; at the bottom end, Prince Edward Island's Joe Ghiz took in $136,438, and Darrell Pasloski, premier of Nunavut, took in only $87,631.
Justin Trudeau - $245,000
The man who would be prime minister earns $160,200 as a Member of Parliament, plus a $54,000 stipend for leading the Liberal Party. Add to that dividends from investments his father, Pierre, left him, plus book royalties and speaking engagement fees (which he has vowed not to charge anymore), and you get about $245,000 in total.
Don Cherry - $800,000.
Canada's highest profile hockey commentator took in nearly twice what his Hockey Night in Canada partner, Ron MacLean, earned -- $429,000.
Carly Rae Jepsen - $2 million
The former Canadian Idol contestant's "Call Me Maybe" was a breakout hit last summer, earning Jepsen millions in royalties.
Coco Rocha - $2 million
The Toronto-born supermodel has made money from campaigns for Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, The Gap, Versace, and countless others, but is also making money off hosting Oxygen network's reality show The Face.
Ellen Page - $5 million per picture
The Halifax-born actress has seen her earnings jump considerably since she left Trailer Park Boys to make movies like Inception and X-Men: The Last Stand.
Jim Carrey - $5 million
Carrey used to command as much as $25 million per movie back in the day, i.e. two decades ago. How far the elastic-faced have fallen.
Seth Rogen - $8 million per movie
The Vancouver native and star of Superbad and Pineapple Express charges much less to appear in a Canadian movie - $250,000.
Ryan Gosling - up to $10 million per movie
The Toronto native has seen some of his recent movies -- Crazy, Stupid Love and Drive -- make decent dough, and the actor is now reportedly earning in the seven figures. Not bad for a guy who's mostly made art-house films.
Alex Trebek - $10 million per season
When he's not hosting the National Geographic Bee or <a href="http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Trebek--I-Left-My-Cash-in-San-Francisco-126281588.html" target="_blank">chasing down robbers in San Francisco hotel rooms</a>, Alex Trebek takes in a hefty annual sum for hosting Jeopardy, something he's done for 29 years at this point.
Sidney Crosby - $12 million
The Pittsurgh Penguins captain isn't actually the best-paid player in the NHL. Nashville Predators defenceman Shea Weber will take home $14 million this year, Macleans reports, while Tampa Bay's Vincent Lecavalier will earn $17.7 million.
Michael Buble - $37 million
With eight albums now under his belt, the Burnaby-born crooner is now raking in serious bucks in royalties.
Justin Bieber - $55 million
Bieber's ego appears to have caught up with his earnings this year. He was widely accused of disrespecting his fans after <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/05/justin-bieber-late-o2-arena_n_2810393.html" target="_blank">showing up late to a London show</a>, and got some nasty publicity with <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/30/justin-bieber-drugs-tour-bus_n_3674035.html" target="_blank">a drug bust on his tour bus</a>. But that didn't stop the 19-year-old from from raking in some seriously big bucks.
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