Employment rose by 153,700 in November - more than quadruple what economists had been predicting. Now sitting near 6%, the unemployment rate is very close to pre-pandemic levels and is considered near full employment. The labour market continues to be tight as policy-makers are in the midst of evaluating anti-inflationary measures. This news helped strengthen the domestic currency which, at the time of writing, stands at C$ 1.2765 to the US dollar.
It is still challenging to review country specifics without mention of the pandemic. Cases are on the rise in many provinces and the government is imposing new travel restrictions. Whereas in the past a traveller had to produce a negative COVID test taken 72 hours prior to travelling to Canada, the new requirement is for 24 hours. Estimates suggest that just over 75% of Canadians are fully vaccinated, with over 79% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated.
Containerized vessel space remains tight as new booking requests are fulfilled often weeks later. Steam ship lines are offering unconventional routes using rail services to redirect cargo to convenient ports, often adding weeks to transit times.