Recently, the publication, The Daily Commercial News did an excellent piece outlining where the economy currently stands. 

For your reading pleasure, here's a summary of their findings, which they summarize as "the soil is rich and the crop is abundant."

1.  The United States unemployment rate is currently at 4.6%, which is a testament to the underlying strength of the US economy. 

2. Jobless claims have been below the 300,000 benchmark for 93 weeks in a row. There hasn't been a period like this for almost four decades. 

3. The average month-to-month employment in the US is on average, +180,000, with construction sitting at 2.4% increase, outpacing the general economy, which sits at 1.6% (180,000).

4. Advances in payroll of some major industries: ‘motion picture and sound recording’, +7.7%; ‘warehousing and storage’, +5.7%; ‘electronic shopping and auctions’, +5.4%; ‘home health care services’, +4.1%; ‘building material retailers’, +3.7%; ‘elementary and secondary schools’, +3.7%; ‘real estate’, +3.2%; ‘investigation and security services’, +3.1%; ‘telephone call centers’, +3.0%; ‘telemarketing bureaus’, +2.8%; ‘hospitals’, +2.7%; and ‘food services/drinking places’, +2.2%.

5. Canada's economy and labour market isn't quite as upbeat as the US economy. Job growth in November of 2016 was only +1.0%, but with some subsets of industry improvements: ‘warehouses and storage’, +9.9%; ‘computer systems design services’, +8.7%; ‘call centers and telemarketing’, +7.1%; ‘home health care’, +6.6%; ‘employment services’, +6.0%; ‘community care facilities for the elderly’, +5.1%; ‘universities’, +4.9%; and motor vehicle and parts manufacturing’, +4.0%.

6. Home starts were strong for the year, but ended the year on a tumultuous note, going from an average of 1.340 million units sold monthly to 1.090 million units, which was a country-wide drop of -18.7%.

7. The year to year difference, comparing 2015 to 2016, was +5.4% for 2016, a respectable improvement. In Canada, the home starts have stayed on par with 2015 (a + of .06%). Alberta, on the other hand, saw a decline in 37%. 

8. The PMI rose from 51.9% in October to 53.2 in November and has been over 50% for the last 8/11 months. Anything above 50% indicates that the manufacturing industry is expanding.

9. Adjusted for seasonality and inflation, US retail sales were up 3.8%, when comparing 2015 to 2016. 

10. Trade between the US and Canada has been in balance (2% in favour of Canada). Canada's merchandise trade with the world at large has suffered with our slump of raw materials.

You can read the full report here.