Canada’s unemployment rate will be higher than that in the U.S. in 2014, a recent Bloomberg News survey predicted.

The survey of 15 economists found the median estimate for Canada’s unemployment rate for 2014 is seven per cent, slightly higher than the 6.9 per cent forecast for the United States.

That’s a small difference, but one with a potentially powerful psychological effect that could impact Canadian consumers’ decisions on everything from buying a new house to taking a vacation.

“It is an important symbolic event if Canada’s unemployment rate exceeds the U.S. rate,” economist Erin Weir told Bloomberg. “There has been this idea that Canada is dramatically outperforming the U.S. and we may well be seeing the end of that.”

Some economists question how good Canada’s job market has been to begin with.

In a column at the Globe and Mail, McGill University economist Christopher Ragan notes that Canada’s employment rate — the percentage of the population with a job — is nearly two percentage points lower than it was before the Great Recession.

Canada’s overall unemployment rate may never have reached the double digits seen in the U.S., but plenty of discouraged workers have given up looking for work, and no longer appear in the statistics as “unemployed.” That causes the unemployment rate to fall, even if the job situation isn’t improving.

Ragan says long-term unemployment has become a larger problem in Canada. Some 20 per cent of unemployed people today have been jobless for more than six months; prior to the Great Recession, that number was around 12 per cent.

One thing that could see Canada still have a lower unemployment rate next year is if the U.S.’s government shutdown goes on for much longer, as that could negatively impact the U.S. economy.

And if there is no deal in Congress before the Oct. 17 debt ceiling deadline, it could cost the U.S. economy some four per cent of its GDP, “enough to cause a recession if it persisted,” CIBC World Markets predicted on Tuesday.

In a report released last week, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives raised the alarm about youth unemployment in Ontario, noting that the jobless rate for youth in Canada’s largest province is higher than in many U.S. Rust Belt states, and comparable to some Eurozone countries — hardly the picture of economic health some politicians and pundits like to describe.

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  • Hamilton -- 13.2%

  • Greater Sudbury -- 13.4%

  • Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo -- 13.8%

  • Ottawa-Gatineau (Ontario) -- 14.6%

  • Guelph -- 14.8%

  • Thunder Bay (in 2009) -- 15.3%

  • Barrie -- 16.6%

  • St. Catharines-Niagara -- 17.8

  • Toronto -- 18.1%

  • Peterborough -- 18.4%

  • Kingston -- 18.9%

  • London -- 20.3%

  • Brantford -- 20.5%

  • Oshawa -- 21.8%

  • Windsor -- 24.7%

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    Median Income For Women In Canada

  • Median Income For Women In Canada

    The following data comes from <a href="http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/130911/dq130911a-eng.htm?HPA" target="_blank">Statistics Canada's 2011 National Household Survey.</a>

  • St. Catharines -- $23,316

    Median income for men: $35,028 Average income for women: $29,775 Average income for men: $43,195

  • Charlottetown -- $24,248

    Median income for men: $30,961 Average income for women: $31,542 Average income for men: $40,965

  • Toronto -- $24,359

    Median income for men: $31,233 Average income for women: $37,015 Average income for men: $52,716

  • Montreal -- $24,361

    Median income for men: $32,887 Average income for women: $32,090 Average income for men: $44,800

  • Vancouver -- $24,551

    Median income for men: $31,704 Average income for women: $35,618 Average income for men: $50,897

  • Hamilton -- $24,761

    Median income for men: $35,666 Average income for women: $32,561 Average income for men: $45,725

  • Fredericton -- $24,990

    Median income for men: $34,527 Average income for women: $32,306 Average income for men: $44,772

  • St. John's -- $25,593

    Median income for men: $35,042 Average income for women: $33,940 Average income for men: $48,258

  • Thunder Bay -- $25,741

    Median income for men: $37,821 Average income for women: $32,830 Average income for men: $45,148

  • Winnipeg -- $25,923

    Median income for men: $35,776 Average income for women: $32,400 Average income for men: $44,342

  • Halifax -- $26,736

    Median income for men: $39,154 Average income for women: $33,398 Average income for men: $48,096

  • Quebec City -- $27,053

    Median income for men: $36,117 Average income for women: $32,334 Average income for men: $43,858

  • Victoria -- $27,324

    Median income for men: $34,235 Average income for women: $33,792 Average income for men: $42,084

  • Saskatoon -- $28,069

    Median income for men: $40,913 Average income for women: $35,426 Average income for men: $52,018

  • Edmonton -- $28,460

    Median income for men: $43,929 Average income for women: $37,100 Average income for men: $56,034

  • Calgary -- $30,516

    Median income for men: $45,781 Average income for women: $41,438 Average income for men: $68,928

  • Regina -- $31,349

    Median income for men: $42,006 Average income for women: $38,488 Average income for men: $53,324

  • Ottawa -- $33,728

    Median income for men: $46,513 Average income for women: $41,857 Average income for men: $58,318

  • Whitehorse -- $40,702

    Median income for men: $46,265 Average income for women: $45,636 Average income for men: $53,264

  • Yellowknife -- $51,951

    Median income for men: $66,153 Average income for women: $56,064 Average income for men: $73,225

  • Iqaluit -- $57,897

    Median income for men: $62,187 Average income for women: $63,456 Average income for men: $69,539

  • NEXT:

    Highest-Paying Jobs That Don't Necessarily Need A Degree In Canada

  • 14: Pilot

    Average salary $44,224.00

  • 13: Farmer

    Average salary: $46,213.00

  • 12: Secretary

    Yes, apparently they still have secretaries. Average salary: $46,369.00

  • 11: Truck Driver

    Average salary: $47,562.00

  • 10: Financial advisor

    Average salary: $52,635.00 *Having some sort of certification in finance or business would likely help in this career, but isn't necessary.

  • 9: Bricklayer

    Average salary: $53,017.00

  • 8: Recruiter

    Average salary: $54,048.00 *Though a degree isn't required, you may be at a disadvantage when searching for work as a recruiter against those with degrees in human resources.

  • 7: Mechanic

    Average salary: $54,279.00

  • 6: Train driver

    Average salary: $56,640.00

  • 5: Human resources manager

    Average salary: $58,033.00 *As with recruiters, you my be at a disadvantage in this field against those with a human resources degree.

  • 4: Electrician

    Average salary: $62,526.00

  • 3: Electrical engineer

    Average salary: $81,349.00 *Adzuna explains: For some electrical engineering jobs, a degree is required, and for others it isn't — there are alternative professional qualifications.

Canada’s jobless rate has been volatile lately, with large leaps between job growth and job loss from month to month.

Some months the numbers have been impossible to parse. StatsCan’s labour force survey for July showed Canada losing 39,000 jobs, but its payroll and employment survey, released a few months later, showed job growth of 60,000 for the same month.

The difference between the Canadian and U.S. unemployment rates peaked in November, 2010, when Canada's rate was 2.2 percentage points lower than the U.S.'s. The spread has been narrowing ever since.

"Before 2008, the last time Canada had lower unemployment in any month was August, 1981, when Pierre Trudeau was prime minister and Ronald Reagan was president," Bloomberg reported.