Jobs machine: running on fumes?

While other recent Canadian economic indicators have been weak, the February jobs numbers were strong. The fact that the figures didn’t mesh with economists’ expectations brought out the sarcasm:

Craig Alexander, TD Bank:

Clearly, one of two things will happen in the near term – either the Canadian economy is going to prove a lot stronger than most forecasters expect or job growth is going to drop dramatically. We will bet on the latter, but the labour survey keeps surprising us.

Avery Shenfeld, CIBC World Markets:

It seems that the slower the Canadian economy grows, the more workers it needs to hire… It should take a boom in output to need all those new hires, but all the economy has to show for it was a tepid 1.9% average growth rate in the second-half of 2007.

We’ll give Shenfeld the last word, too: “This simply defies logic.”