Month: December 2015

Out Of Business

My frustrations at trying to explain the current employment scene for job-seekers. Created on the Pixton comic making website Click to see full-size image.

Trying to explain my struggle with unemployment, part-time homelessness, and loss of financial independence is a tough sell, even where my information is provided free of charge.

Some people who are in recession-proof jobs like the public service sector, or who are wealthy will tell me there’s no recession, no poverty, and no homeless crisis. They’ll tell me I’m not trying hard enough to find a job, that I’m someone who expects things handed to him, or that my misfortune is all my fault because I must be an addict (untrue), fired from my last job (untrue), or lazy (untrue). They say all these things despite reading the news about job losses, companies closing,  and young people facing a higher level of unemployment and the Catch-22 of no experience, no job.

Such arguments with these people really vex me, but not as much as the arguments I have with the next group of people.

These people are completely UNAWARE of the current economic climate. They regard the business section of the newspaper as liner for the bird-cage, view the business report on the evening news as an excuse to take a nature break but would lose it if they missed their sports and entertainment news. After all, news about a self-indulgent Hollywood star or overpaid sports athlete must be more important than 33,000 jobs lost last month in Canada, right? Riiiiiight.

When I ask these particular people why they don’t follow the business news, I’m told it’s unimportant, or it doesn’t affect or concern them.

That’s completely foolish, not to mention very dangerous thinking. For example, if the business news reports a rise in a national bank interest rate, it will affect whatever credit consumers and companies use. If it reports a drop in consumer confidence, it means a lot of people are scared about job security, and so should you. If it reports a few companies are laying off staff and they happen to be in the same market your employer is in, beware.

Your employer will never tell you the full details about your employment future. Even if they did, they won’t do this upfront when it happens. The interests of the company, those in charge of it, and the investors will come before your concerns as an employee.

This is why each of us need to take charge of our current employment status, which is done by becoming business-aware. We do not need to be Donald Trump moguls: we just need to watch for warning signs in the economy in the same way we watch for warning signs regarding our health.

In fact, we have to make it our business to do so.

Thanks for reading!





Numbers Don’t Lie

Canada sheds 35,700 jobs in November, unemployment rate up to 7.1% Job losses were bigger than economists had been expecting Source: CBC News Dec 04, 2015 12:57 PM ET

I’m not surprised some who have either read my blog or viewed my videos on my GoFundMe initiative would write that things are getting better, since economists reported Canada’s economy has stopped shrinking.

These people really need to read the business section of the news more.

Canada lost 35,700 jobs in November: apparently the public sector hiring for the previous month of October, 2015 was a temporary boost from the last federal election.

Alberta, which was supposed to be the golden child of the post-2009 recession recovery — where jobs were plentiful and oil prices were seen as the economic counterbalance to Ontario’s “have-not status” — now has an unemployment rate at a five-year high.  Saskatchewan and British Columbia, provinces employment assistance specialists and some of my readership tell me to move to in order to find work, are also experiencing an increase in unemployment.  Ontario’s unemployment rate is still stubbornly high at 6.8%. Thank you, Premier Wynne and the Liberal Party for that. Your government policies that hiked the cost of electricity in this province are the reason why businesses do not want to invest here and hire people.

Examining the charts and numbers more closely, the actual growth in our economy was a measly 2.3%. For a country the size of Canada, that’s peanuts. The supposed bright spot of 36,000 full-time workers being hired is not in long-term sustainable jobs but retail and service sector jobs: jobs that do not guarantee career growth and the income increases that comes with it.

According to StatsCan, “in November, the number of employees declined by 41,000 in the private sector, and by 21,000 in the public sector. On the other hand, the number of self-employed increased by 26,000”. That’s not reassuring news for those people who do not have the business smarts and the capital to go it alone (such as Yours Truly).

The most alarming aspect of the news is when you compare the current national unemployment rate of November 2015 (7.1%) with the unemployment rate back at the end of 2010 (8.1%). Despite all the talk about economic recovery and jobs being created, the unemployment rate fell (in net) only one percentage point over the past five years. This is the end result of all that money spent on employment assistance and stimulus programs. Perhaps it is time to review a proposal suggested by many (which I wrote about) about guaranteed income.

The numbers don’t lie. It’s proof we live in an Age of Austerity and the jobless recovery.

Thanks for reading!