Stephen Harper likes to crow about his government's management of the economy. But the facts are out of synch with the hype. Two days ago, Alex Roberts tallied up the record after eight years of Conservative stewardship. The report should be read in full. But consider just a few excerpts:
National unemployment rate in January, 2006: 6.6 National unemployment rate in December, 2013: 7.2 Increase in the number of unemployed in Canada since January 2006: 236,200 Youth unemployment rate, January 2006: 12.2 Youth unemployment rate, December 2013: 14.0 Rank of Canada’s unemployment rate in 2013 compared to other G7 countries: 3rd Rank of Canada among the 34 OECD nations in employment creation 2007-2012: 20th
Then consider the following:
Number of governments since 1935 that have presided over a slower rate of real economic growth per capita than the Harper Conservatives: 0 Number of consecutive annual federal budget deficits: 6 Number of budget deficit targets hit by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty: 0 Number of consecutive annual federal budget surpluses under the previous Liberal (Chrétien/Martin) governments: 9 Amount added to the federal national debt since Conservatives took power in 2006: $123,500,000,000.
And, finally, note the following numbers:
Percentage increase in the inflation-adjusted average hourly manufacturing wage, 2006-2013: 0 Percentage drop in productivity (GDP produced per employed person), 2006 to September 2013: 1.9
Mr. Harper likes to reward the private sector. But, in that hallowed world, an executive with that kind of record would be dumped. Yet he's still with us. And he's still full of hot air.