US Unemployment Rate Climbs To 4.1% In June 2024, As Canada’s Hits 29-Month High

The unemployment rate in the United States rose to 4.1% in June 2024, the highest since November 2021, up from 4% in the previous month and surprising market expectations, which had forecasted the rate to remain unchanged. The number of unemployed individuals increased by 162,000 to 6.811 million, while employment levels increased by 116,000 to 161.199 million. Meanwhile, the labor force participation rate surged marginally to 62.6% from 62.5%, and the employment-population ratio decreased to 60.1% from 60.2%. US Dollar weakening by 0.2% against a basket of currencies, reaching 104.90 on the USD Index.
Unemployment Rate In Canada Hits 6.4%
Canada’s unemployment rate has climbed to its highest level in 29 months, reaching 6.4%. This rise underscores concerns that job losses are increasing as the labor market struggles to absorb a rapidly growing population. The uptick in unemployment could potentially signal that Canada is on the brink of entering a recession.In June, Canada saw a net loss of 1,400 jobs. Employment in the goods-producing industries saw a net increase of 12,600 jobs, predominantly in agriculture while the services sector experienced a net loss of 14,100 jobs, with significant declines noted in transportation, warehousing, and information, culture, and recreation industries. On a positive note, the average hourly wage growth for permanent employees accelerated to an annual rate of 5.6% in June, up from 5.2% in May, providing some relief amidst broader economic concerns.Looking forward, the Bank of Canada’s next interest rate decision is scheduled for July 24.
Oil Prices Slip On Potential Gaza Ceasefire
Oil prices settled lower on Friday as the rising possibility of a ceasefire deal in Gaza outweighed strong summer fuel demand and potential supply disruptions from Gulf of Mexico hurricanes. Brent crude futures declined by  1.02% to close at $86.54 a barrel, while  U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures settled at $83.16 a barrel, down by  0.9%. However for the week, Brent surged by  0.4%, while WTI futures posted a 2.1% rise.
NITDA Unveils ‘Nigerium,’ Indigenous Data Security Blockchain 
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has aired its plan to develop an Indigenous blockchain dubbed “Nigerium” to protect the country’s data and promote national security.  The proposed blockchain would improve national security and the safety of citizen’s data, and  it would also  help Nigeria to have full control over its data and positions.  The Nigerium project would be a product of a collaborative effort between NITDA and stakeholders which include government agencies and private sector organizations. However, NITDA has previously announced plans to establish AI, Internet of Things, and Blockchain research centres in the six geo-political zones of the country.