Job Losses In Canada

March saw Canada lose 61300 jobs which means jobs are disappearing at rates not seen since the early 1980’s. For the first time in 7 years the unemployment rate is 8%. Since October’s peak we have seen employment fall each month for a total of 357000 jobs lost, which is 2.1% of the work force. During the 1991 recession the contraction was not as strong but it equals that of the 1982 slump, but it was the level that was expected in the budget and programs and money has been allocated to help deal with this problem (this refers to the budget’s $40 billion over 2 years stimulus plan)

The good news? March’s losses weren’t as bad as January and February when 129000 and 83000 jobs were lost respectively and March’s losses were what one would expect in the middle of a recession.

One of the problems though is that a lot of Canadians are falling through the cracks as EI mandates that 700 hours of accumulated work is needed to qualify for benefits, but under the current circumstances some are asking that that be cut in half says Erin Weir of the United Steelworkers. He also says that his previous experience with recessions that unemployment rates will continue to be up even after the Canadian economy starts to bounce back as employers hold off on hiring until the recovery is for real.

Last month BC lost 22600 and Alberta lost 14900 workers, whereas Ontario only lost 11000 (but they still lead the country in jobs lost with 171000 over 5 months)

One of the hardest hitting sectors is Canadian manufacturing with auto and forestry leading the way as they have let go 6.8% of their workforce. Construction has been hit with 99000 jobs lost since October and we see evidence of this in the Saskatoon new housing market as our new housing starts have declined drastically.

Canada’s unemployed number is now 1,456,600 with 16,838,100 still working. Youths 15-24 are at 14.8% unemployed, 7.5% of men 25+ are unemployed, in the same group women are at 5.7%.

Saskatchewan and Newfoundland were the only 2 provinces to stay the same from February to March at 4.7% and 7.4% respectively. Saskatchewan and Manitoba have the lowest unemployment rates with 4.7 and 5.1 respectively.

Out of the major cities the unemployment rate in Regina is the lowest at 3.9%, a close second goes to Quebec City and Saskatoon’s unemployment rate, #3, is also low at 4.8% with Winnipeg, Edmonton and Ottawa in 4th with 4.9%.

Windsor, Ontario has the highest unemployment rate at 13.7% followed by Kitchener, Ontario at 9.6% and Saguenay, Quebec at 9.3%.

Kari Calder
Saskatoon Real Estate Agent
Century 21 Conexus Realty Ltd.

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