Experts skeptical about Nova Scotia’s recent job growth trend

By CityNews Halifax Staff

A recent report noted that Nova Scotia showed impressive employment growth over the past year. However, experts are still concerned about the impacts of rising interest rates on the job market.

According to Statistics Canada, Nova Scotia experienced a more than 5 percent jump in employment growth, adding 24,800 jobs between January 2022 and January 2023.

At the same time, unemployment is also decreasing, which would suggest things are optimistic.

However, some experts feel there is uncertainty that the trend will continue, given a spat of recent interest rate hikes by the Bank of Canada and other factors.

“The question that everyone is wondering about is the possibility of a recession in the next six to 12 months,” Lars Oberg, Dalhousie University economics professor, tells CityNews Halifax. 

He says traditionally, the economy should slow down in the months following such rapid and massive Bank of Canada hikes, which have raised the key interest rate from near-zero to its highest level since 2007.

“Since the start of the interest rate increases were about six months ago, that will kick in another six to 12 months.”

Oberg notes that the biggest uncertainty that could affect job outlook is how COVID-19 has upturned economic predictions.

“We've had an enormous period of turbulence in the Canadian economy and the global economy, and it's not over yet,” he continues. “So a lot of us in the economics are wondering about just how well our models are able to predict in the next little while.”

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