Nanos on the Numbers: Canadians bracing themselves for the 'R' word
OTTAWA -- As the holiday season is upon Canadians, it is more economic gloom than festive exuberance.
According to Statistics Canada, the economy lost an eye-popping 71,200 jobs in November 2019 – the single biggest drop in about a decade when the world was still reeling from a recession.
To put this into context about 1,800 jobs were lost in October but the total number of jobs gained this year is still above 285,000.
The good news is that job creation, according to Statistics Canada, still remains net positive – it’s just that November was a substantive setback of previous gains.
The forward looking mood on the future strength of the Canadian economy, as measured by Nanos for Bloomberg News is still twice as likely to be negative rather positive. The kicker is that a majority of Canadians also think that it is likely or somewhat likely for Canada to hit a recession in 2020.
When you ask Canadians who live in the Prairie provinces, that dour attitude rockets to three of four citizens. Perhaps the key take-away is that Western alienation is not just about the political union that makes up Canada, but it is about economic disenchantment and how Canadians that live in the Prairie provinces don’t see the federation working well to advance prosperity and the financial well-being of Canadians.
Roll this all up and it points to psychological if not a potential real recession in Canada.
The ironic twist is that even when the macroeconomic numbers like the unemployment rate bode well for strong fundamentals, the mood for average Canadians is one of ‘joyless prosperity’ where there is a psychological disconnect with the macroeconomic data.
The past week saw the Trudeau Liberal Government launch their Speech from the Throne which firmly focused on a middle-class agenda, the environment, crime and tax relief for Canadians.
In a truly Canadian fashion, a recent Nanos survey for The Globe and Mail suggested that the vast majority of Canadians self-identify as being part of the middle class and believe the government should focus on helping families with children cope with the rising cost of living.
What does this all mean? The ‘R’ word is on the mind of Canadians.
For all the federal parties, they should not forget the adage from a previous American presidential election – “It’s the economy stupid!”
Right now, Canadians fear a recession, are gloomy about our economic future and want elected officials to advance solutions which make Canada economically stronger and which create conditions for Canadians to manage a rising cost of living.
Nik Nanos is the pollster of record for CTV News and Chief Data Scientist at Nanos Research