Do You Believe Me Now?

An Irving Shipbuilding employee works on components for the Canadian government’s Arctic offshore patrol ships at the company’s facility in Halifax. Statistics used in this blog post and this image come from the Region Of Waterloo Record newspaper.

Writing about my experiences as a part-time homeless person, someone of no fixed address for a few years and suffering from chronic unemployment is one tough sell, particularly with some people who snicker when I use phrases like “Age Of Austerity” and  “Jobless Recovery”.

I’ve been told by one family member that I write fluff pieces in this blog instead of factual analysis based on what I’ve experienced, the people I’ve talked to, the analysis I’ve done on figures released from StatsCan and constant reading of and listening to business news.

Tell me if this sounds like fluff talk to you.

The national unemployment rate for February 2016 was 7.3%, the third such increase this year.

The number of net full-time positions fell by 51,800, while less-desirable part-time jobs increased by 49,500.

Self-employed positions across Canada increased by 3,000 last month, while the net number of employee jobs fell by 5,300.

The country’s youth unemployment rate climbed to 13.3 per cent last month, from 13.0 per cent in January.

You might remember how I posted a video on YouTube stating that I did not want to move to Western Canada to search for work because I did not feel people should have to chase all over the world looking for work. My belief at the time of that recording was we address the fact the economy was anaemic, and that it needed an environment that promoted business growth that led to job creation. I was scoffed by a few who said I had a position of entitlement and that I was lazy.

It seems, as I knew I was, that was the right position for me to have. Last month, Saskatchewan was among the hardest hit provinces, losing 7,800 jobs compared to the previous month and seeing its unemployment rate climb 0.3 percentage points to 5.9 per cent. Alberta, which has suffered from the oil-price slump, saw its unemployment rate rise from 7.4 per cent to 7.9 per cent. Compared to a year earlier, employment in the province decreased 21,200 net positions or 0.9 per cent, including a drop of 56,300 full-time jobs or 2.9 per cent.

All of these figures, as with most of my blog posts, come from reliable sites such as StatsCan and various business analysis reports on both sides of the political leaning. These are not fluff writings or rants from a middle-aged white male.

These are facts. With that said, I have to ask you the following questions.

Do you feel your job is safe while you hear of people losing jobs in positions that are supposed to be secure lifelong holdings of employment?

While you stand in long cashier checkouts where only two out of the 8 or 10 registers are in full operation during peak hours, do you seriously believe companies are expanding and profiting?

During those times when you are on the phone listening to a customer service named “Mike” or “Sarah” but with a very thick Middle Eastern accent and reading from a script, do you feel Canadian jobs are staying in this country or are they being shipped out overseas in the name of keeping salaries in line?

With the mounting costs of student loan our young people must carry in the form of debt, while being told they should work for free through internships that do not guarantee employment, do you feel the next generation will do as well as the previous ones that existed in better economic times?

Do you feel we truly are in a post-recession boom?

My final question: will you listen to me now?

Thanks for reading!






4 thoughts on “Do You Believe Me Now?

  1. Hi David,

    Another fascinating post and thanks for the statistics. In future, I would submit to any skeptic that perceives your stance on Unemployment as fluff, your statistics in conjunction with this relevant 13 min. Video from 60 minutes that aired on Television in recent years. Both your related unemployment stats and the video (that includes an interview with M.I.T professors) confirms the trend of unemployment and your current stance as not fluff but foretold unfolding fact!

    Technological Unemployment 60 minutes :

    Nonetheless, If that family member, or any other individual for that matter, has not been unemployed seeking employment in the last 1-2 years,then they have no first hand personal experience with the surrounding variables associated with unemployment & job-seeking. Thus, forgive my indelicacy, but they’re probably speaking out of their a*s and not worth your valuable time listening too.

    Moreover, they should wise up, research to understand that unemployment in Canada and worldwide can be expected to worsen as technology marches ever increasingly faster. And of course population growth will add to it and is. Whether its via birth rate or via the influx of immigrants adding to our ever shrinking job pool as it is happening in other countries.

    Subsequently, they probably however have little interest in researching information regarding unemployment if they are not unemployed, i.e. employed long term, retired or possibly if they’re doing a 2-4 year college or university course (expecting this will guarantee them a job). To also elaborate a little further on people doing 2-4 yr. Career oriented courses. They don’t realize that by the time they complete those courses, the education they received may be almost fully to partially irrelevant in their given field due to related information & technology advancing so fast. Thus, they would sadly have to return back to college / university to upgrade themselves again to be marketable again. Hence the vicious cycle of the Education business. And more and more students are painfully learning this very aspect, globally.

    With respect to your questions that I know you are well aware of the answers too. But here are your numbered questions below with my answers for the sake of giggles 🙂

    1). Do you feel your job is safe? Very few jobs are safe or guaranteed long term thanks to to advancing automation and population.

    2). Do you seriously believe companies are expanding and profiting? My perception is that the companies that stay is business are profiting by not expanding, but rather scaling down their businesses to save money i.e. less employees, closing branches, and adopting technology for superior performance/production = profits. Thus, “profit before people” or the bottom line. And this is what we all see and experience as customers; unless we live in the closet..LOL!

    3). Do you feel Canadian jobs are staying in this country or are they being shipped out overseas in the name of keeping salaries in line? Yes, definitely Canadian jobs are being outsourced / shipped out overseas to other countries. This has also been happening to other Industrialized countries i.e U.S, UK..Etc. And it has been mentioned plenty periodically in the media in these countries. No fluff whatsoever!

    4). Do you feel the next generation will do as well as the previous ones that existed in better economic times? A generation generally equates to 20-25 yrs. Depending who you speak too, for anyone reading.

    Therefore, according to the M.I.T professors in that brief Video > ( Technological Unemployment 60 minutes ) , given the current status of employment and it’s affects on employment…they do not foresee unemployment improving for 2-3 generations i.e. 40 – 60 years. Unless we can invent jobs that technology cannot access or do better than human beings. Thus,one major reason jobs are fluctuating but leaning more on the decline. So, No, I vehemently do not see the next generation doing better than the previous ones in better economic times, unfortunately.

    Matter of fact, we and the next couple of generations would be wise to learn ways to stretch a small income as well as acquire goods & services at low cost or free! Many people today are more and more having to learn this due to Company downsizing, Job-loss and/or only being able to acquire low paying jobs. Thus,as you,David demonstrated via various sources in the past & now, jobs in part-time and self employment arena are on the rise while full-time jobs are generally on the decline.

    5). Do you feel we truly are in a post-recession boom? When enough of the middle class has either been downsized, loss their jobs and/or been reduced to minimum wage the answer that is obvious to you, me and others in similar circumstances will be a resounding transparent , No! In large populated cities unemployment is not as noticeable as it is in smaller populated areas, towns, …etc. Thus why people in big cities are far more optimistic,but necessarily realistic!

    6). My final question: will you listen to me now? Not only am I listening & reading…but I’ve been living the nightmare similar to others in Canada and around the world. And I’ve gradually realized the solution is to adapt in the 21st Century by learning ways to acquire goods & services for either low cost or Free, wherever possible. The chances of many 40 hour jobs will be created or return, with oodles of overtime and high salary that seemed the noticeable standard in the 20th century is unlikely. The only way this would be otherwise is if technology and population halted or even decreased. However, both are extremely unlikely.

    Therein, the emerging buzz phrase of “Life-Editing” seems the best way to adapt to the evolving 21st century transitions of employment and life overall per se. Meaning, learn to get what you need or want with less while living within one’s means or even under it i.e. bye bye McMansions, maxing the Credit card, driving over-sized Vehicles and trying to ” Keep up with the Joneses” . A skill, our grandparents and others before them knew that our society will now have to learn – voluntarily or forcibly; pending individual circumstances and/or stubbornness.

    Lastly, in the coming years, Self-Education will be far more valuable to an individual than Academic Education for many reasons.

    Thanks again David.

    1. Hi Ed. sorry for the late reply and thank you once again for the insight on my article. I agree with you that the current situation we are in is a reset to the times where we did live within our means. Hopefully this also means a return to the times we helped each other out when times are tough, instead of the “Gimme attitude” over the last 30 years that led us to where we are: overextended and unprepared for what is to come.

      Again, thanks for you support and comments


  2. Hi David,

    You’ve likely heard about these. The government is testing the idea of guaranteed basic income this fall. They are showing their acknowledgement of the uncertainties in the job market even for those who are already working. Perhaps there are places to support this and get involved…

    As well, you probably will enjoy free tuition in Ontario starting in 2017 – if you are still interested in returning to school.

    These things may not be of immediate interest to you but I do believe there are positive and significant things coming our way.


    1. Hi Ws. I’ve been following the idea of a basic income since I first read about and later posted an article here about “guaranteed income” (another name for basic income). I’ve sent an inquiry to the ontario government about how I can get involved in this pilot project.

      Because of my current pressing situation, I’m more concerned about maintaining the funding for my temporary residence so I’m not out on the street again. I have a GoFundMe initiative link in the meta section that better describes the challenges I’m dealing with.

      Thanks for the comment and the links and for your continued readership


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