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Global Markets: Unemployment in Canada increases

Hits 9.4 per cent in January

By MarketsFarm

WINNIPEG, Feb. 5 (MarketsFarm) – The following is a glance at the news moving markets in Canada and globally.

– Unemployment in Canada ballooned in January with nearly 213,000 more people out of work, according to Statistics Canada on Friday. Analysts’ expectations were for unemployment to have increased by approximately 40,000 jobs, but new COVID-19 restrictions resulted in a much greater number. The federal agency said Canada’s unemployment rate rose from 8.8 per cent in December to 9.4 per cent in January. However, the country’s labour market was faring better than in March and April of last year when unemployment skyrocketed by 3 million.

– Former Nigerian Minister of Finance Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is set to become the first African and the first woman to head the World Trade Organization (WTO), according to reports on Friday. An economist by trade, Okonjo-Iweala will take over the WTO as it continues to struggle with trade disputes that were largely the result of policies of the former Trump administration in the United States. Okonjo-Iweala spent 25 years at the World Bank as a development economist, becoming a managing director. Most recently, she was the board chair of Gavi, which is distributing COVID-19 vaccines around the world.

– In Joe Biden’s first major speech on foreign policy, the U.S. president stated on Thursday that the six-year war in Yemen must end. That marked a distinct policy shift from the Obama and Trump administrations, which had backed the Yemeni government along with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and France. Also, Biden warned Russia that U.S. foreign policy will be very different than that from the Trump administration, stating “the days of the United States rolling over in the face of Russia’s aggressive actions are over,” which drew a sharp rebuke from Russia on Friday. “This is very aggressive, unconstructive rhetoric, to our regret,” said Dmitry Peskov, a spokesperson for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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