A popular U.S. website has floated a unique suggestion for unemployed Americans desperately pounding the pavement in search of work.
The sagely advice? Move to Canada.
There was a fluttering Maple Leaf on the homepage Friday of the Huffington Post, a site popular for its news and celebrity blogs.
The accompanying headline read: Need A Job? Try Canada, Where Hiring Is Booming And Home Prices Are Rising.
The article was published amid news that Canada's economy added a whopping 93,200 new jobs last month; the U.S., meanwhile, continues to struggle with unemployment woes.
The bottom of the HuffPost article carried a poll, asking people whether they would be willing to move to Canada for work.
The results of that poll — which is by no means scientific — said 57 per cent would move to Canada if that's where the jobs are, while 16 per cent said they'd stay in the States.
The U.S. Department of Labor reports the American unemployment rate at 9.5 per cent, and not really improving, while Canada's was reported Friday at 7.9 per cent and dropping fast.
Economists say there are no easy answers as to why Canada is doing better — other than it just has a lot of different factors going for it.
"There’s no arguing with this strong report. The jobs picture clearly shows that the Canadian recovery hasn’t stalled yet, despite signs of slowing momentum in the U.S. and other economies," says Benjamin Reitzes of BMO Capital Markets.
Reitzes says Canada simply has had more going for it: exposure to commodities; a rebound in demand for Canadian manufactured goods; less indebted households with more money free to spend.
The Huffington Post article tells readers: "Stubbornly high unemployment rates got you down? Not sold on the economic recovery? Look no further than America's polite neighbor to the north, where jobs numbers are surging and home prices have been rising steadily for nearly a year.
"Last month, Canada, a nation with roughly one tenth of our population, created about 10,000 more new jobs than America."
Most of those Canadian jobs were created in Ontario and Quebec, which accounted for 90,000 hires.
The Huffington Post article quickly generated more than 2,800 comments by 5:30 p.m. Friday.
That comment stream featured plenty of Canadian self-congratulation and, amusingly, at one point evolved into a conversation about hockey in which people mainly ridiculed the Toronto Maple Leafs.
One U.S. commenter said: "Congrats Canada! You didn't bail out your banks, home prices and sales have remained steady if not better, you have universal health-care, gay marriage and your still creating jobs? CANADA IS THE BEST PLACE TO LIVE."
A Canadian responded: "Finance does not run business in Canada, and business does not run politics."
But Canadians might not want to get too smug.
Experience suggests Americans don't tend to move here — even when the working conditions are favourable in the Great White North.
Manpower Canada's Byrne Luft said the previous experience in a tight labour market, when it was extremely difficult to find specific skills, was that U.S. workers were tough to lure.
It's a trend puzzling to employers, said Luft, vice-president of marketing for Manpower Canada.
"We would not get a lot of U.S. workers coming to Canada even though the pay was very attractive," he said.
"Those workers would stay in their country and that always amazed us because they were so close. . . Most of the workers came from abroad — Philipines, India, Eastern Europe, Western Europe."
Second Question, what do you believe are the reasons why so few from the US bother to come here to look for work, even when the pay and opportunities are there?