By The Canadian Press - Sunday, May 19, 2013 - 0 Comments
Harper government buying ads to promote job grant program that doesn’t yet exist
OTTAWA – The Harper government is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars advertising a program that does not yet exist.
Prime-time ads began airing this week during NHL playoff games — currently the priciest advertising real estate on the dial — that tout a new federal Canada Jobs Grant for training workers.
The trouble is, the freshly announced program is at present little more than a concept that has yet to be negotiated with provincial governments, and requires buy-in from employers as well.
Peter Van Loan, the Conservative government House leader, described the Canada Jobs Grant last week as a “proposal that needs to be fleshed out and developed fully.”
By The Canadian Press - Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 4:31 PM - 0 Comments
MONTREAL – Air Canada says it will hire about 1,100 employees across a number…
MONTREAL – Air Canada says it will hire about 1,100 employees across a number of fields, including 200 at its new low-cost carrier.
The airline said Thursday the jobs are part of its strategy to “seize new commercial opportunities, enhance customer service and renew our workforce.”
Air Canada (TSX:AC.B) says it will hire approximately 400 flight attendants and some 500 airport customer service agents and baggage handlers.
Sixty customer service agents will be hired for call centres in Montreal and Toronto.
“This recruitment program is consistent with our focus on controlling costs to become more competitive in our various markets,” said president and CEO Calin Rovinescu.
“At a time when youth unemployment is nearly 15 per cent in Canada, we are pleased to offer exciting career opportunities that will especially appeal to young people.”
The company cited attrition as one of the main drivers behind the hiring of customer service agents and flight attendants.
In addition to the hires at the main airline, the company says it will hire approximately 150 flight attendants and 50 pilots for its low-cost airline — which is slated to launch in 2013.
Air Canada says information on the job postings can be found at aircanada.com/careers, adding applications can be filled out online.
The airline currently employs some 27,000 people across Canada and the world.
On Wednesday, Air Canada said it’s just a couple of weeks away from announcing details of the new discount carrier that will serve transatlantic and leisure routes in the Caribbean and the United States.
It will be wholly owned by Air Canada, but carry a different name.
Air Canada had been beset by labour problems for most of the last year with all of its major unions, which has hurt both its reputation and its share price.
The pilots are one of two major labour groups at Air Canada that were forced to accept the airline’s final offer in labour negotiations earlier this year. The other union is the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which represents repair and ramp crews.
Both disputes were sent to binding arbitration ordered by the federal government, which brought in back-to-work legislation after Air Canada locked out the pilots and the Machinists announced they would go on strike earlier this year.
In August, the airline reported it lost $96 million in the second quarter, more than double the $46 million it lost in the same period a year earlier and more than analysts had expected.
The loss was equal to 35 cents per share, up from 17 cents per share in the comparable year-earlier period.
On an adjusted basis, the Montreal-based airline had a loss of five cents per share, up from a loss of one cent per share a year ago.
Air Canada is the country’s largest domestic and international full-service airline providing scheduled and charter air transportation for passengers and cargo to more than 175 destinations on five continents.
It is the world’s 15th largest commercial airline, providing service to more than 32 million passengers a year.
By Julian Beltrame, The Canadian Press - Friday, September 7, 2012 at 10:54 AM - 0 Comments
OTTAWA – Canada’s economy hammered out a surprisingly healthy 34,300 new jobs last month,…
OTTAWA – Canada’s economy hammered out a surprisingly healthy 34,300 new jobs last month, topping expectations of only modest gains and completely reversing the previous month’s setback.
Analysts had expected the economy to add only about 10,000 jobs in August, reflecting the slow pace of growth and risk-filled nature of the global outlook.
The details of the August jobs report from Statistics Canada were not as strong as the headline number suggested, however, as all the gains were part-time jobs. As well, there were heavy losses in the goods producing sector, which generally pays higher wages.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7.3 per cent — where it has been for most of the past year— as the labour force grew in step with the employment gains.
Last week, the agency confirmed expectations that economic growth in Canada had slowed from the previous year with a modest advance of 1.8 per cent annualized in the first half of 2012.
By Mika Rekai - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 10:38 AM - 0 Comments
Maybe a new life awaits you in Nanjing
When Noel Muller returned to Toronto from China in 2010, he was thrilled to be home. Within a few months, however, the then-28-year-old teacher, fed up with unemployment—and with bunking in his mom’s basement—was back on a plane bound for China. Muller had spent a year in Jilin, a small city in China’s northeast, teaching English to local children. He’d been homesick, especially toward the end, and keen to start a permanent teaching career in Ontario. But within weeks of returning, Muller realized that might not be an option for him.
With the economy in the tank, he says, “all the jobs dried up.” And in a year in which over two-thirds of education graduates were unemployed, Muller certainly wasn’t being picky. He was applying for everything from tutoring positions to teacher’s assistant spots to a job teaching English as a second language. Then he got a call from his old boss in Jilin. “He was pretty desperate to have me back,” he says, “and offered me a substantial pay raise.” For Muller, it was an easy choice. “Adventure may have brought me here the first time,” he says, “but monetary considerations certainly brought me back.”
Muller is one of a growing number of young Canadian professionals pursuing careers in the new land of opportunity. In Canada, recent graduates were hit particularly hard by the financial crisis—youth unemployment here sits at 14 per cent, double the national rate—and have not fully recovered. Many are settling for contract work outside their field, often below their skill level. But in China, companies are hungry for educated young workers. And they’re willing to pay a premium for foreigners who can act as linguistic and cultural bridges between China and the West.
By Veronica Simmonds - Thursday, July 26, 2012 at 11:12 AM - 0 Comments
Basement speakeasies, living-room cafés: what Halifax university grads do when they can’t find a good job
Jess Ross graduated from Dalhousie University in 2009, straight into one of the worst economies in a generation. Her degree in anthropology hardly made her a standout in a Halifax job market with an unemployment rate nearing 15 per cent. “My only options were to go back to the job I didn’t want to go back to, work for a catering company, get a master’s degree, or just do something on my own. Which I guess was the moment I tapped into my entrepreneurial spirit,” she says.
She and some friends set up a farm stand on Agricola Street in Halifax’s North End neighbourhood and started selling her homemade, German-style bread. They conduct their business under the table, without concern for the legalities of zoning or taxation.
In doing so, they’re part of a new breed of young and underemployed entrepreneurs in Halifax’s North End. For the past five years, the neighbourhood has become a hotbed of small start-ups operating mostly out of people’s homes or on street corners. Often thought to be a dangerous part of town, the area has long attracted students and artists with its cheap rents. Now, new money in the form of condos and charcuteries is trickling in.
By macleans.ca - Friday, July 6, 2012 at 9:10 AM - 0 Comments
Both Canada and the U.S. released June employment and unemployment figures this morning–and there…
Both Canada and the U.S. released June employment and unemployment figures this morning–and there was little cause of celebration.
Canada added a meagre 7,300 jobs last month, though, on a positive note, all that gain came from full-time positions. Somewhat puzzlingly, however, the lion’s share of hiring was in the public sector despite the ongoing fiscal restraint. Unemployment edged down a notch, to 7.2 per cent, though Statics Canada noted the dip was due to fewer people searching for work. All in all, it was neither good nor bad news.
The real downer came from the States, whose June job report fell well short of expectations. The U.S. economy added 80,000 jobs last month–20,000 shy of the consensus forecast, and a blow to President Barack Obama, whose reelection is thought to hinge on America’s job numbers. Unemployment figures, collected in a separate survey, showed the jobless rate unchanged at 8.2 per cent.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 8:30 AM - 0 Comments
Barack Obama, last night. “My message is simple. It’s time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas, and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America.”
Jack Layton, last March. “As prime minister, I wouldn’t use your hard earned tax dollars to reward companies that ship jobs to the States or overseas. I’ll target investment to create jobs right here at home.”
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 2:47 PM - 0 Comments
Late last week, Brian Topp released his fourth policy paper, this one on jobs and small business.
I propose that new federal credit union legislation be enhanced to promote the establishment of new credit unions while respecting the integrity of the credit union governance structure. Enhancements would allow them to reach a larger client base while respecting the credit union difference…
I propose an enhanced and renewed federal labour-sponsored venture capital program, that learns from the success of the Quebec system and from the lessons of the Ontario experience. I propose that permitted placements in federally-chartered labour-sponsored funds be increased to $15,000 from then current $5,000; that eligible investors be limited to sophisticated parties, who are investing on the advice of investment professionals; and that management fees and charges, diversification of investments, and eligible managers be much more carefully regulated and limited than was the case in Ontario…
I propose that Export Development Canada explicitly allocate at least 5% of its programming to small and medium sized business – and actively engage with small companies to encourage them to build their overseas sales.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 12:45 PM - 0 Comments
The fall report of the auditor general is here.
The concerns expressed there include defence procurement, tobacco farming compensation, drug safety, visa processing and assessing the results of the government’s economic stimulus.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 12:07 PM - 17 Comments
Stephen Gordon questions those calling for the government to take action on jobs.
My reading of the data of which I’m aware suggests that current rates of job creation are consistent with those observed during the last expansion, and have been so for a year or so. Calls for the government to “do something” are misplaced; the labour market has been functioning normally for quite some time now.
By Jason Kirby - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at 6:20 AM - 12 Comments
What to call the current crisis has always been a difficult task
Everywhere Darren Enns looks these days he sees the devastation wrought by America’s grinding employment crisis. As the treasurer of a construction union in southern Nevada, the state with the highest unemployment in the country, Enns has watched as friends and colleagues—the bricklayers, electricians and drywallers who thrived during Las Vegas’s housing boom—struggle to move on to other careers. Few succeed. Many have simply given up hope. “When you look at the unemployment rate during the Great Depression, we’re beyond that in the construction industry here in Las Vegas,” he says. “We’ve got close to 70 per cent unemployment, so for us, the economy is extremely depressed.”
When the financial crisis tipped America into a deep recession in 2007, it was tempting to draw comparisons to the Great Depression of the 1930s. Those fears subsided once the stock market pulled out of its nosedive and America’s economy began to grow again, albeit at a crawl. It was a brief respite. Four years later, American towns and cities remain overrun with millions of unemployed workers even as the economy risks slipping back into reverse. It raises the question whether the U.S. ever really emerged from recession in the first place. Instead, some are suggesting those early fears may have been justified after all: the United States appears to be in the throes of an outright jobs depression.
Earlier this month, Robert Reich, a professor of public policy at Berkeley and the secretary of labour in the Clinton administration, said the current crisis is an extension of the “depression” that began in December 2007. Meanwhile, Richard Posner, a high-proﬁle judge in the United States Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and regular political and economic commentator, said it’s time for America to give up any false hopes that the economy is on a path to recovery. “If we were being honest with ourselves, we would call this a depression,” he wrote in the New Republic. “That would certainly better convey both the severity of our problems, and the fact that those problems have no evident solutions.”
By Luiza Ch. Savage - Monday, September 19, 2011 at 10:20 AM - 53 Comments
As the economy sinks and hope turns into despair, the president’s odds of re-election are fading fast
Two and a half years into Barack Obama’s presidency, Obamamania has given way to Obamamisery. Fourteen million Americans are out of work. The unemployment rate remains stuck above nine per cent. The net number of new jobs created last month was exactly zero. And nearly one in six Americans live in poverty—the most in 27 years.
Sure, the former Illinois senator was dealt a raw hand—elected in the midst of an economic crisis and two long, costly wars, at the burst of a credit and real estate bubble that would take years to unwind. In his inaugural address, the new President acknowledged “a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable.” But Obama had promised to be the man of hope and change. “Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America,” he told the millions people who had travelled from around the country and the globe to witness him take office and end the era of George W. Bush.
In January 2009, the unemployment rate was 6.9 per cent and Obama’s approval ratings were over 60 per cent. The question that framed his presidency was whether he would lead the country out of crisis the way Franklin Delano Roosevelt led the country out of the Great Depression, or whether he would become the next Jimmy Carter—a weak, one-term president done in by economic malaise and failures abroad.
By Josh Dehaas - Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 1:45 PM - 0 Comments
There are plenty of high-demand, well-paying options in health care
Roughly three-quarters of medical school applicants are rejected each year. Bummer. Luckily for them, wannabe doctors have better alternatives than ever. These four professional health care programs can be completed in just a few years, are in high demand, and pay well directly out of school. That means graduates can start paying off their student loans while medical residents are still driving beat-up old cars to 24-hour shifts.
Health Care Manager
The Job: Health care managers work in hospitals, medical clinics and nursing homes where they direct teams of health care providers. Their job is to make sure patients get excellent care and, simultaneously, that Canadians get good value for the nearly $200 billion they spend on health care each year.
By Luiza Ch. Savage - Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 11:00 AM - 3 Comments
The gun-carrying Texas governor is suddenly the top Republican contender
Barack Obama’s approval ratings of 43 per cent are the lowest of his presidency—as low as George W. Bush’s in his second term. The number of net new jobs the gasping American economy created in August was exactly zero. And on a sunny afternoon in a meticulously manicured suburb of Manchester, N.H., a state that plays a key role in picking presidents, several hundred Republican voters have gathered to hear from Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the man who has vaulted to the lead of a raucous race to oust the President. The crowd skews somewhat grey-haired and more than a little country-clubby. Men sport khakis and button-downs, the women tailored dresses and high heels. Tidy white golf carts shuttle guests from their cars to a white tent that has been set up on grounds studded with American flags.
Even among this well-heeled group there is fear about where the country is headed—financially, politically, and even metaphysically. “The country, the people have lost their faith,” says Joyce Gardiner, a 68-year-old retired marketer from Londonderry. “Obama,” she purses her lips, “is inept.” James Shephard, 57, who says he lost his job at a plant that manufactured bomb-disposal equipment, is here to take pictures of the event for a Tea Party group he recently joined. “The vice is squeezing tighter and tighter,” he says. “People say they have to do something before the boat goes over the cliff.”
A murmur of excitement runs through the crowd as the governor arrives. Perry is tanned, square-jawed and sporting the salt-and-pepper mane that gave him the nickname Governor Goodhair. Along with his blue shirt and khakis, he sports some Texas flair: black ostrich leather shoes and a gold-tipped belt bearing a buckle embossed with a large “R.” Perry smiles broadly with a wink here, a thumbs-up there, as a glowing introduction is read out: the son of tenant farmers, Air Force veteran, still married to his high school sweetheart, and governor of the state that created 40 per cent of all the new jobs in America since 2009. “A person of action,” sums up the host. Perry takes the podium with the swagger of a man who has been governor for a decade (he took over when George W. Bush moved to the White House), who has never lost an election (he switched his affiliation from the Democrats to Republicans in the 1980s as they ascended in Texas), and who carries a concealed weapon (the .380 laser-sighted Ruger came in handy last year when, while jogging, he shot and killed a coyote who threatened the family dog.)
By macleans.ca - Friday, September 9, 2011 at 11:45 AM - 0 Comments
Employers cut 5,500 positions, pushing jobless rate to 7.3 per cent
The Canadian job market was weaker than expected in August, with jobs disappearing for the first time since March. Employers cut 5,500 jobs last month, pushing the unemployment rate up slightly to 7.3 per cent, according to Statistics Canada. Despite the setback in job numbers, 233,000 jobs have been created over the past year, while the overall employment rate rose 1.3 per cent. On top of that, full-time jobs have grown by 2.2 per cent and part-time positions have shrunk by 2.3 per cent. Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, speaking in Marseilles, France, where he is attending a Group of Seven meeting, called the overall growth in full time positions “encouraging.” Still, August’s job shrinkage comes amid continued economic woes in Europe and the United States. Speaking Thursday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the government would be “flexible” in its economic approach, potentially leaving the door open to some job-creating stimulus spending should job numbers repeat last month’s decline. For 15 to 24 year olds, the jobless rate this summer was 17.2 per cent, up from 16.9 per cent a year ago.
By John Parisella - Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 1:19 PM - 4 Comments
Conventional wisdom holds that a presidential campaign begins in earnest right after Labour Day…
Conventional wisdom holds that a presidential campaign begins in earnest right after Labour Day weekend in a presidential election year—a full year away from now. This is notably when public campaign finance provisions kick in. However, this year, with Republican candidate Mitt Romney announcing his jobs program today and Barack Obama presenting his own version two days from now, it feels more like we’ve already entered the final sprint of the 2012 presidential cycle. Continue…
By macleans.ca - Friday, August 5, 2011 at 12:16 PM - 0 Comments
Economy adds 7,100 new jobs in July, StatsCan reports
Canada’s economy showed conflicting numbers in July, as its jobless rate fell to 7.2 per cent while the economy added 7,100 new jobs. Statistics Canada said Friday that the main reason the unemployment rate dropped is because nearly 29,000 people left their jobs and weren’t looking for work anymore. However, employment gains were weaker than the 15,000 to 20,000 new jobs analysts were expecting. Ontario saw posted job losses in July, while Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador reported job gains. The other provinces’ job rates remained unchanged.
By Rebecca Eckler - Thursday, June 16, 2011 at 12:05 PM - 23 Comments
A lot of women, it seems, have trouble explaining what exactly their partners do for a living
“What is it I’m supposed to say you do again?” I ask my boyfriend as we head out to see friends. “Just say I own my own software company,” he says, which is true. But it’s a very specialized software company, focusing on registration for the “conference and trade show industry.” I’m still not sure what that means, though I have rehearsed my lines.
I’m not the only one who has a hard time explaining or understanding what my partner does. When I posted on Facebook recently that he was headed off to do his “something-something” job in Washington, numerous women replied, admitting to being in the same clueless boat I was. “I can’t even remember the current title of my hubby. So don’t worry about it,” wrote one. Another replied, “I had a guy like that once. I tried to explain to people what he did but in the end gave up and boiled it down to, ‘He goes to an office tower in a suit and comes home with money.’ ” Still another suggested I just “say he’s in business.” This woman added, “Gone are the days when everyone had one job responsibility or title.” I’ll say.
“Not knowing, understanding, or being able to say what your husband does is very this-generation,” says Sari Friedman, an HR consultant and career coach. “The landscape has changed so much. Roles are more specific these days and more complicated to explain.”
By macleans.ca - Friday, June 10, 2011 at 12:42 PM - 0 Comments
Modest gains push rate down to 7.4 per cent
Canada’s unemployment rate hit its lowest level in two years last month, falling to 7.4 per cent, down 0.2 points from April. The news wasn’t all good, however—since the economy added a modest 22,300 jobs, the decline in unemployment was mostly attributed to fewer people looking for work. Still, employment has grown by 273,000 jobs over the past year and job growth has averaged 32,700 a month so far this year.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, March 24, 2011 at 3:40 PM - 12 Comments
Eric Beauchesne surveys the economic ramifications of an election.
In fact, Statistics Canada’s analysis of changes in employment in the wake of the October 2008 election campaign, suggests an election would create thousands of temporary jobs. ”With the federal election in mid-October, there were large employment gains in public administration, spread across most provinces,” Statistics Canada said in its analysis of what was a 40,000 increase in full-time employment in October 2008. ”Most of the increase was among occupations related to the election process,” it added, noting there were no job gains in other areas to explain the surge in employment that month.
By Colin Campbell - Thursday, March 17, 2011 at 10:08 AM - 1 Comment
As wages in China rise at least one firm has started”inshoring” jobs away from coastal manufacturing areas to even cheaper provinces inland
For decades, manufacturing jobs offshored from North America have fuelled the massive Chinese economy. But as wages in China rise, at least one firm is taking the next logical step to hold its cost advantage: “inshoring” jobs away from coastal manufacturing areas to even cheaper provinces inland.
Foxconn Technology, one of the world’s largest electronics makers, has started shifting 200,000 workers from its home base in the coastal city of Shenzhen, near Hong Kong, to lower-cost provinces. The company plans to eventually move all of its manufacturing jobs out of Shenzhen and turn its facilities there into “an engineering campus,” reports the Financial Times.
The company has struggled recently with a series of suicides at its plants, which it responded to by raising wages. But it is also credited with helping transform Shenzhen into a global manufacturing centre, and it is expected to similarly boost the economies of new regions it pushes into.
By Kate Lunau - Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at 10:08 AM - 4 Comments
Cheap loans and tight job prospects create a new crop of entrepreneurs
After graduating from the University of Western Ontario in 2004, long-time friends Joe Facciolo and Skai Dalziel, both from Barrie, Ont., set off to travel the world. By the time they came home, in 2008, the job market had toughened considerably. “I was looking for work in alternative energy, but nothing really materialized,” says Dalziel, 30. Chatting about their travels, and how hard it was to find a good restaurant in a new city, the two friends were seized by a business idea. “We said, we’re young and we don’t have a lot of responsibility,” Dalziel says. “We figured it was a good time to give it a go.”
That fall, they moved to Whistler, B.C., where they knew the tourism market was strong. By November, Whistler Tasting Tours—which provides guided tours that visit some of Whistler’s best restaurants, providing a multi-course dinner in one evening—was born. “One of the biggest challenges was securing ?nancing,” Dalziel says. “Banks weren’t interested in getting involved.” The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF), a charitable organization that works with entrepreneurs aged 18 to 34, gave them a $15,000 loan, and Whistler Tasting Tours was profitable within its first year; now they’re talking about branching out to other locations. Running a business, “you’re letting go of your social life,” he says. “But it’s really rewarding.”
Facciolo and Dalziel are two of countless twentysomethings who’ve avoided a more traditional career path, launching their own business instead of working for somebody else. Driven by a tight job market, the number of tools available online, and a growing sense of do-it-yourselfism, entrepreneurship is booming among students and recent grads. And with role models like Mark Zuckerberg, the 26-year-old billionaire founder of Facebook, they’re in good company.
By macleans.ca - Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 9:07 AM - 1 Comment
What Canadians across the country are telling pollsters
Atlantic provinces: Turns out those on Canada’s East Coast are the most prudish, at least when it comes to public displays of affection. According to a recent survey, only 63 per cent of residents there say they feel comfortable with couples kissing in public—the national average is 77 per cent. And Ontario topped Quebec as the nation’s most immodest province. Eighty-three per cent of Ontarians have no qualms with kissing in front of an audience. Only 77 per cent in Quebec said the same. Uniting Canadians was a common belief (held by 97 per cent) that fresh breath is essential for a great kiss. Of course, that wasn’t an issue for the 10 per cent who declared that they never kiss their partner.
Ontario: Ontarians are the most stressed about jobs. Twenty-three per cent say that they or someone in their family are anxious about losing their job. That’s slightly higher than the national average (20 per cent) and eight percentage points more than those in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta: A majority (62 per cent) of residents find the idea of federal funding for professional sports facilities irksome. That’s a bit higher than the national average (55 per cent) who oppose the federal government digging into public coffers to build arenas and stadiums for professional sports teams. Meanwhile, 53 per cent of Quebecers support spending public money on such ventures.
British Columbia: An overwhelming majority of British Columbians still holds fond memories of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games, but a smaller share feel that hosting the Olympics was a good idea. About a year since the opening ceremony, 81 per cent of residents say that the Olympics were a success—a level of enthusiasm that has held steady since the end of the Games. But 28 per cent feel that picking up the tab for the Games wasn’t worth it.
By Rachel Mendleson - Monday, March 15, 2010 at 9:00 AM - 14 Comments
More women are now prime family earners, but wage gaps persist
The past few years have been difficult for Brian and Karen Rae. After working at K Tool & Die for more than a decade, Brian, 62, was laid off from the Oakville, Ont., plant, which made parts for the auto industry, in December 2008. At the time, Brian, who had been a toolmaker for 38 years, was earning about $58,000—a decent salary, he says, but not enough to live comfortably. “You can’t make it on one family income anymore.” As such, Karen has long worked full-time at Zellers, where she earns less than $20,000 a year assisting customers in the men’s department. The importance of her job has been “brought to the forefront” since he lost his, says Brian, along with the fact that surviving on it alone is impossible. While he completes a government-funded course in home renovation (he gave up on toolmaking after distributing 100 resumés to no avail), they’ve had to dip into their RRSPs. “It’s been a bit of a struggle to keep up with everything,” he says.
As Ottawa celebrates the country’s official return to economic growth, the Raes are not the only ones for whom recovery remains an abstract notion. Dubbed the “man-cession” or “he-session” for the way in which it snuffed out male-dominated manufacturing jobs, the downturn has dramatically altered the dynamic of many working class families. According to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, men suffered 76 per cent of the overall job losses; Statistics Canada numbers show that in 2009, male employment levels dipped by a total of 249,000 over the previous year, compared to a decline of 28,000 for women.
The reality today is that a middle class existence, more often than not, means a two-income family, with more women assuming the role of primary breadwinner than ever before. But a stubborn fact, buried under decades of gender equality and diversity training, has resurfaced: despite comprising more than half the workforce and outpacing the educational achievements of men, women still make less. What’s happened since the recession, says Barb Byers, executive vice-president of the Canadian Labour Congress, “is the men have looked [at what their wives are earning] and said, ‘Wait a minute, these are really crappy jobs. You can’t feed a family on this.’ ” It’s a reality that, when combined with the downturn and the shrinking middle class, is wreaking havoc on family finances.
By Steve Maich - Friday, October 16, 2009 at 8:30 AM - 1 Comment
A weekly scorecard on the state of the economy in North America and beyond
The Canadian economy has answered a lot of questions for us in the past few months. Our housing market stumbled, but didn’t go into free fall. Our mining, manufacturing and construction industries suffered, but did not collapse. Retail sales slowed, but you won’t see row upon row of boarded-up stores when you venture out holiday shopping next month. And, of course, it turns out our banks are a fair bit more solid than many gave them credit for.
All of that must qualify as welcome and somewhat surprising news, and the latest bit of encouragement came last week with the release of September jobs figures. As the kids headed back to school, the employment situation in the U.S. continued to worsen—another 263,000 jobs vapourized as the world’s largest economy searches for a way to staunch the bleeding. But in Canada, 31,000 jobs were created, a second straight month of improvement, far outpacing even the rosiest projections on Bay Street. Continue…