By Staff | September 4, 2009 | Last updated on September 4, 2009
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The Canadian economy generated about 27,000 net new jobs in August, according to StatsCan, led by an increase in part time work.

Part-time employment increased by 30,000 in August, while full-time jobs dropped by approximately 3,000.

“Half a loaf, or in this case, half a job, is better than none,” CIBC said in its analysis of the jobs data, suggesting that it is a sign the economic recovery is underway.

Employment in the private sector grew by 49,000 in August, the first increase in this group since September 2008. Employment among both public sector employees and the self-employed edged down in August.

Increases were observed in a number of industries in August, including retail and wholesale trade, as well as finance, insurance, real estate and leasing. Total employment gains were partially offset by losses in business, building and other support services, as well as educational services.

The employment increase in August was concentrated among women aged 25 to 54.

Further to their economic report, CIBC says the August employment data is aligned with their view that the recession ended in June. The bank expects additional hiring gains in September. However, it forecasts that GDP growth will be soft for the next six quarters and that employment gains will be modest. With the population growth and the return of previously discouraged job seekers, the bank anticipates the unemployment rate will be 9% in the quarters ahead.

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Jantzi index beats TSX 60

Jantzi Research has released performance data for its Jantzi Social Index for the month of August, matching the performance of the S&P/TSX Composite Index, and far exceeding the returns of the S&P/TSX 60 Index.

The index, which applies environmental, social and governance screens to stocks, was up 0.95% on the month, tracking the Composite index perfectly. The S&P/TSX 60 Index, on the other hand, posted a decline of 0.10% over the same period.

Since the index was created in January 2000, it has posted an annualized return of 5.14%. The S&P/TSX Composite and the S&P/TSX 60 had annualized returns of 4.85% and 4.99%, respectively.

The financial services sector contributed the greatest positive return to the JSI, while the materials sector served as a brake on growth.

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Russell signs UN Principles for Responsible Investment

Russell Investments has voluntarily agreed to follow the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI), reinforcing the company’s commitment to environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) concerns.

“Russell became a UN PRI signatory in recognition of the increasingly widespread client demand for strategic advice and solutions that take into account ESG considerations,” said Andrew Doman, president and CEO. “These are issues that impact not only our clients’ investment portfolios and long-term financial security, but also the business and personal communities in which our clients live and work around the world.”

The principles are a set of global best practices that provide a framework for integrating ESG issues into financial analysis, investment decision-making and ownership practices.

The UN PRI also provides signatories with collaborative resources to identify and share best practices, as well as the ability to benchmark progress through an annual survey and reporting process.

As part of its commitments in becoming a signatory to the principles, Russell has formed the Russell Sustainability Council. The new council will incorporate ESG considerations into manager research and product development while promoting the UN PRI and other socially responsible initiatives within the investment industry.

Alan Schoenheimer, chair Asia-Pacific and executive sponsor of the Russell Sustainability Council added: “Becoming a UN PRI signatory is an important step in Russell’s efforts to actively align our business with practices that can contribute both to financial security for our clients and stability and prosperity for our global community.”

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SEC mulls ‘fraud college’ in wake of Madoff saga

The embarrassing revelations outlined in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) recent report on the Madoff affair has prompted Chairman Mary Schapiro to contemplate the creation of a “fraud college” to properly train staff to spot and investigate market abuses.

SEC inspector general H. David Kotz’s report outlined how SEC investigators were “alternately intimidated and enthralled by a name-dropping, yarn-spinning” Madoff, who recently expressed surprise that it took the regulator so long to close in on his Ponzi scheme.

As a result of the Madoff affair, SEC enforcement director Robert Khuzami is developing five specialty units that will focus on cases in asset management, structured products, municipal securities, foreign corrupt practices and market abuse.

(09/04/09) staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.