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What the job numbers mean for your investments

Unemployment concept with magnifying glass

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Despite a net increase of 17,500 jobs for December, the Canadian unemployment rate ticked up to 7.5 per cent from 7.4 as more people looked for work and outpaced the gains, figures released Friday morning by Statistics Canada show.

In the United States, data released Friday show a more promising picture, with the jobless rate falling to a near three-year low of 8.5 per cent, offering the strongest evidence yet of a pickup in U.S. economic activity.

The mixed data failed to bring about an anticipated rally in the stock market and left some analysts pessimistic.

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Miles Corak, an economics professor at the University of Ottawa, points out in an Economy Lab post that the employment numbers for young workers have barely budged from those reported two years ago, during the depth of the recession.

What do the numbers mean for the Canadian economic outlook and how should investors react? Today at 1 p.m. (ET), Globe and Mail readers can pose those questions and others in a live discussion with Avery Shenfeld, managing director and chief economist at CIBC World Markets Inc.

Mr. Shenfeld holds a PhD in Economics from Harvard University and is a two-time winner of the Dow Jones Market Watch forecasting award.

Join us at 1 p.m. (ET) with your questions for Mr. Shenfeld. You can set an e-mail reminder for yourself in the box below. Mobile users can join the discussion here.

<iframe src="" scrolling="no" height="650px" width="460px" frameBorder ="0" allowTransparency="true" ><a href="" >Economist Avery Shenfeld answers your questions</a></iframe>

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