Statistics Canada will say this morning how the job market fared in June after two months of job losses in April and May when companies shed staff during a third wave of lockdowns. The economy lost 68,000 jobs in May and more dropped out of the labour force altogether after an April when 207,000 jobs were lost. The result for May left the country about 571,100 jobs, or three per cent, below pre-pandemic levels seen in February 2020. Economists expect the June labour force survey to show an increase in employment as restrictions rolled back nationwide. CIBC senior economist Royce Mendes says there may also be an increase in the number of workers looking for jobs, after thousands gave up the job search in May. He writes that June may only be the appetizer for the summer hiring season with larger gains potentially showing up later in the summer as more of the economy reopens.
The White House on Friday will announce a new executive order aimed at cracking down on competitive practices in Big Tech, CNBC’s Ylan Mui reported. President Joe Biden’s administration will make the case that the biggest companies in the tech sector are wielding their power to box out smaller competitors and exploit consumers’ personal information, Mui said on CNBC’s “Worldwide Exchange.” The order will call for regulators to enact reforms such as increasing their scrutiny of tech mergers and putting more focus on moves like “killer acquisitions,” in which firms acquire smaller brands to take them out of the market, according to Mui. The tech giants’ tightened grip has led to a decline in innovation, White House chief economic advisor Brian Deese told Mui in an exclusive interview. Those platforms have “created significant problems,” Deese said. That includes “problems for users in terms of privacy and security” and “problems for small businesses in terms of entering markets,” he said. The order will be unveiled just a few weeks after the House Judiciary Committee This link will open in a new tab. voted to advance six antitrust bills aimed at revitalizing competition in the tech sector.
The travel sector has been hit hard by Covid restrictions, but news on Thursday that the U.K. is easing some of the quarantine rules is supporting the sector in early Friday trading. The U.K. government said that double-vaccinated people will be allowed to travel without having to self-isolate on their return, unless they are traveling from a high-level risk country. The government also said it was working to lift quarantine rules for double-vaccinated people visiting the U.K.
China’s central bank cut the amount of cash most banks must hold in reserve in order to boost lending in the economy as growth starts to wane. The People’s Bank of China will reduce the reserve requirement ratio by 0.5 percentage point for most banks, according to a statement published Friday. That will unleash about 1 trillion yuan (US$154 billion) of long-term liquidity into the economy, the central bank said. The cut will be effective on July 15, according to the statement. The last time the bank cut the main ratios was during the first wave of the pandemic in 2020, when it was trying to boost the economy after lockdowns to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. This reduction was signaled earlier this week, when the State Council, China’s equivalent of a cabinet, hinted the central bank would make more liquidity available to banks so they could lend to smaller firms hurt by rising costs. A reserve ratio cut, while not immediately lowering the cost of borrowing in China, is a rapid way of freeing up cheap funds for lending and has been a favored tool in the central bank’s efforts to control the economic slowdown in recent years.