Canadian Employment – June, 2019

The Canadian labour market added 27,700 jobs in May, above market expectations. This follows the 107,000 increase the previous month, placing 2019 off to a good start with employment up by about 250,000 year to date. The unemployment rate decreased by 0.3 percentage points to 5.4 per cent, which is the lowest since the series began in 1976. The gains in May were mostly in full-time employment, led by the service sector. Among the provinces, Ontario and B.C. were the primary contributors.

In BC, employment grew by 17,000 jobs in May, led by an increase in full-time employment. The unemployment rate declined to 4.3 per cent, as more people participated in the labour market. Compared to one year ago, employment in BC grew by 4.3 per cent (107,000).

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

The Longest Day

The summer solstice marks the official start of summer. It brings the longest day and
shortest night of the year for the 88% of Earth’s people who live in the Northern
Hemisphere.

Astronomers can calculate an exact moment for the solstice, when Earth reaches the
point in its orbit where the North Pole is angled closest to the sun. That moment will
be at 15:54 UTC on June 21. Six months from now, the sun will reach its southern
extreme and northerners will experience their shortest day of the year, at the winter
solstice.

The angle of the sun around the time of the solstice changes so gradually in relation to
the equator that the everyday observer almost can’t tell it is changing. Without
instruments, the sun appears to be in the same place for about 10 days. This is the
origin of the word solstice, which means “solar standstill.”

This slow shift means that June 21 is only about 1 second longer than June 20 at midnorthern
latitudes. It will be about a week before there’s more than a minute change to
the calculated amount of daylight. Even that’s an approximation – Earth’s atmosphere bends light over the horizon by different amounts depending on weather, which can introduce
changes of more than a minute to sunrise and sunset times.

Dream On

Do you dream of starting your own business? It’s not easy, but you can succeed if you follow
this advice from the Entrepreneur magazine website:

• Keep your vision in sight. Most great businesses start with an ambitious vision. Decide what you
want to create in clear, concrete terms, and keep your focus on your vision as you move forward.

• Be prepared to persevere. Establishing your business will take time and effort. Know that going
in, and you’ll be ready to persist in the face of obstacles.

• Plan, but adapt. A good plan is essential, but don’t lock yourself into it so tightly that you
can’t make changes along the way. Be flexible in how you achieve your goals, and you’ll move
forward more smoothly.

• Know and use your talents. Take inventory of your skills so you can put them to good use. For
whatever you don’t do well, delegate it or hire someone to do it for you.

• Don’t reinvent the wheel. Find out what others are doing in your industry, and copy their tactics and strategies. Don’t waste time developing something new when the real-world solution is right out there.

• Keep laughing. Times will sometimes be tough, but the ability to laugh at your mistakes and your luck (both good and bad) will keep you sane as you progress toward success.

 

Creatives on Creativity

Being creative all the time is hard. Writers for the Money magazine website talked to a variety of
people in creative positions to find out what keeps the spark going. Here are some of their
answers:
• Physical activity. Kuba Koziej, CEO and co-founder of Zety: “Physical activity lubricates the
rusty hinges in my brain and makes my thinking more fluid. So I often take my dog for a quick run or play around the agility park. A 10-minute break shoots some oxygen and dopamine into my system and gets my mind refreshed and creative.”

• Music. Andres Lares, managing partner of Shapiro Negotiations Institute: “To stay creative, I put on house music fairly loudly on a set of headphones. Not only does the music help focus me, others come by and only interrupt me when it’s critical.”

• Dream boards. Adamaris Mendoza, psychotherapist and relationship coach: “It might sound crazy to some, but I have a daily manifesting practice that uses a vision board. Every morning I look at an annual board full of images of my dreams. I even keep a picture of my vision board in my phone in case I need a quick pick-me-up during the day. It connects me with why I have a business.”

• Collaboration. Andrea Castro, visual artist: “To keep myself focused and inspired, I reach out to other workers in my field by phone or Skype. A one-hour talk with an artist friend, sharing our tactics, frustrations, and wins, simply fuels me to no end. It makes me want to go directly to the easel.”

• Breaks. Kat Cohen, CEO of Ivy Wise: “This may sound counter-intuitive, but I get many of my most creative ideas while working on mundane tasks, like running errands or doing administrative upkeep.

My mind is always ‘on’ — I’m constantly focusing on the students I work with and goals for my
brand. Carving out a little downtime where I can tune these big-picture ambitions out and focus in on something simple gives me the mental space I need to come up with innovative ideas.”

CLI Points to Stabilizing Commercial Activity in 2019 Q1

Vancouver, BC – June, 2019. The BCREA Commercial Leading Indicator (CLI) rose by 1.3 points to 135.2 in the first quarter of 2019. Compared to this time one year ago, the index is 1.1 per cent higher.

“While economic activity remained tepid at the start of 2019, a rebound in financial markets pushed the CLI higher,” says BCREA Deputy Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “That signals a lower risk environment, but a slowing economy may impact future commercial real estate activity.”

Following several years of robust growth, the BC economy continues to slow in the early part of 2019. The economic activity component of the CLI posted a third consecutive quarterly decline. Employment in key commercial real estate sectors was mixed. The CLI measure of office employment now sits at an all-time high, which signals strong future demand for office space. Volatile financial markets led to recent swings in the underlying CLI index, but the trend remains flat, pointing to stable commercial activity in 2019.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

For Dad to See

Michael was a boy who loved to play football. For many years, he was smaller than the other kids his age, so he spent a lot of time on the bench, but his dad still cheered as if he was the star of the team. A few people thought it was strange that he kept signing up, but the coach saw his diligence and dedication, and always found a slot for him on the roster.

The years went by and Michael went off to college. One day, he received the sad news that his father had passed away in his sleep. Michael went to practice that afternoon and told the coach, then asked: “Would it be okay if I miss practice today?” The coach gently put his arm around his shoulder and said, “Take the rest of the week off, and you don’t need to come to the game on Saturday.”

That Saturday, the coach and the players were already behind in the first quarter when they saw Michael coming towards them. The coach took one look at him and made the decision to put him in the game.

As soon as Michael took the field, their score started to creep up, and by halftime, the game was tied. However, the real cheer came when he intercepted a pass and ran the ball for the winning touchdown. His entire team congratulated him on the win.

The coach went up to Michael after the game and asked him, “Where did that come from?” Michael looked at the coach, with tears in his eyes, and said, “Well, you knew my dad passed away, but did you know that he was blind?” The young man swallowed hard and forced a smile, “Dad came to all my games, but today was the first time he could see me play and I wanted to show him I could do it!”

Thank You For Your Patronage

June is a quirky month: it has no overwhelming holiday celebrations that involve candy or costumes or sudden weight gain. In fact, the one holiday that most people associate with June is Father’s Day, with charming ties and handmade cards given out to fathers, grandfathers, and supportive men who might as well be fathers for all that they do out of love. However, if we take a second look at the word father, and dance back through the centuries to the Latin root, Pater, a different concept grows from the same vine: patronage.

The idea of patronage is simply the concept of supporting someone in their endeavors to make the world a better place. That can come in the everyday form of a patron at a local store; it can come through donations as a patron of the arts; it can come in the more lofty form of a community patron, one who ushers in programming for the power of good in schools or local organizations like Kiwanis or the Rotary.

I have often spoken of the need for us all to have a tribe, an innermost circle of trusted people with whom we share our personal and professional goals so that everyone might benefit from having a handful of connected individuals. However, if we look to ourselves to serve as leader of our tribe, it is in some sense serving as a patron, one who oversees a small community and lends support to causes that matter.

This month, as we hit the halfway mark of 2019, I ask you: who else could you include in your circle? How can you more effectively connect the people in your life to make the world a better place? How do you view your patronage, what cause is important enough to you to spend a lifetime in dedication to that outlet?

As summer unfolds, I hope that answer comes clear for you and that you find yourself at the center of your circle, a patron of what matters to you. These long days ahead of us with sunlit afternoons and warm evenings are perfect for spending with friends and family, guiding your plans to make the world a better place. Onward!

Canadian Real GDP Growth (Q1’2019) – May, 2019

Canadian economic growth started the year a lot slower than the already diminished expectations of most economists. Real GDP growth for the first quarter registered just 0.4 per cent, matching the meager growth of the previous quarter. A strong recovery in household consumption spending was offset by a decline in housing investment due to the B20 stress test and the lagged impact of rising interest rates in 2018. A drop in exports, the first decline since the third quarter of 2017, reflects a difficult global trade environment.

We are forecasting that the Canadian economy will expand between 1 and 1.5 per cent this year, a deceleration from 1.8 per cent growth in 2018. That slowdown, along with muted inflation will likely keep the Bank of Canada sidelined, particularly given the uncertain state of the global economy and the ongoing impact of the B20 stress test on the housing sector.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

Bank of Canada Interest Rate Announcement – May, 2019

The Bank of Canada left its target for the overnight rate unchanged at 1.75 per cent this morning. In the statement accompanying the decision, the Bank noted that the slowdown over the past two quarters was temporary and growth should pick up beginning in the second quarter of 2019. On inflation, the Bank expects that both total CPI and core inflation will remain near its 2 per cent target in coming months. Overall, the Bank judges its current level of monetary accommodation as appropriate.

Slow growth in the first half of 2019, the result of reductions in Alberta oil production, global trade uncertainty and the continued impacts of the B20 stress test, has likely pushed out any possibility of further tightening by the Bank of Canada into next year at the earliest. In fact, if financial markets are to be believed, the Bank may have missed its chance to return its policy rate to its preferred or “neutral” level and the next move may even be a rate cut. Canadian mortgage rates have responded strongly to revised market expectations for Canadian monetary policy, with 5-year mortgage rates falling back to 2017 levels. Those lower rates are already providing a boost to sales in May and should continue to do so through the summer.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

Good News for Women

Good news for women: Your brains age more slowly than males’ brains. According to an article on the NPR website, researchers have found that the metabolism of women’s brains remains healthier and more youthful than that of their male counterparts, making women better equipped to be creative during the later years of their lives.

The findings come from a study of 205 brain scans of people ages 20–82. Scientists first studied brain metabolisms to determine a person’s age. Then they observed a significant difference between the age of some people’s brains and their chronological ages, leading to the discovery that older women’s brains, on average, were about four years younger in terms of metabolism than men’s brains.

The reason is unknown, but the scientists say a higher brain metabolism may give women an advantage in learning and creativity as they age.