This report is primarily focused on the hourly labour market in North America, giving an overview of key trends, insights and news articles surrounding this segment. The end of 2014 rounded out with Statistics Canada reporting employment in Canada remaining unchanged in December. The unemployment rate continued at 6.6%, despite the loss of approximately 4,300 jobs. Within 2014, the employment rate grew by 1% with the addition of 186,000 jobs, mostly within the second half of 2014. Within the US, the Bureau of Labour Statistics reported the addition of 252,000 jobs were added during December, during this time the unemployment rate dropped to 5.6%, a 6-year low.
The withdrawal of Target stores from Canada is not the only mass exit we have seen, other struggling retailers are retracting their Canadian operations including Sony – 14 stores, Mexx Canada – 95 stores, Smart Set – 107 stores and Jacob – 92 stores. However, this trend is not deterring new entrants such as Inditex and Uniqlo from setting up shop in Canada, as well large retailers such as Walmart, H&M and Giant Tiger have no plans to halt their North American expansions.