Once economic savior of Canada; now economic nightmare

alberta oil production

“According to Statistics Canada, Alberta experienced the largest job losses in the country.”

Alberta, for the longest time, was touted as the economic savior and engine, or `the land of milk and honey`of Canada because of its vast tar sand reserves which were being heavily exploited by the rising price of oil around the globe. The bad news is that for the past year and half, the gas price dropped more than half from the astronomical rise which it once was. Experts knew the speculative prices were not sustainable, but the general media touted it as if it would last forever. This led many thousands of Canadians to flock out West with the families in search of riches that were promised them. The sad reality is that sustainability never shows itself in the form of natural resource extraction. It shows itself in the steady and balanced economy of a country that has manufacturing, innovation, and resource processing. Indeed, manufacturing is a mere 13 per cent of the Canadian economy today compared to the ball park range of 50 per cent but 30 years ago. Many people, however, are finding that the illusions are wearing thin and the ugly face of reality creeps up on you.

Sometimes being a handyman may be useful because employers are always looking for someone with a good work ethic who is committed and involved. A large percentage of Albertans are independent contractors who are out of work and the number of unemployed workers is unknown because these people do not count in the statistics of EI. A place to start is tax revenue coming in. The federal government has already recognized a huge drop in taxpayments with these workers in Alberta and businesses. The provincial government is desperate. We are not in a recession, they`ve moved into a depression.

Alberta shedding jobs at fastest rate in Canada
Unemployment rate rises to 7.5% in October

he jobless numbers in Alberta were brutal for October. They were the worst in the country, indicating the vicious impact of this year’s recession is still lingering in the economy.

According to Statistics Canada, Alberta experienced the largest job losses in the country. The federal agency reported Friday that employment in Alberta decreased by 15,000 last month, pushing the unemployment rate up 0.4 percentage points to 7.5 per cent, up from 7.1 per cent in September and 3.7 per cent a year ago.

Since October 2008, Alberta’s employment has fallen by 3.3 per cent, or 68,000 jobs, the steepest rate of decline among all provinces.

Calgarian James Edwards, 45, is fully aware of the current employment picture. He’s been looking for work since being laid off in February. His background is in strategic human resource management.

“As part of a corporate re-organization, I got laid off,” said Edwards, who worked for a big IT services company for about 12 years. “I’ve been looking for work since then. It’s been very difficult.

“I’ve seen a few more roles advertised recently. I still have a very strong sense that organizations are being very conservative about what they’re doing with hiring. I think there’s still a lot of reluctance to move ahead and start especially hiring back into support-type functions like human resources. . . . Generally what I hear out on the street is that probably the early part of next year is really when it’s going to pick up again.”

Calgary’s unemployment rate remained stable in October at 6.9 per cent, the same as the previous month, but up from 3.9 per cent a year ago.

In his 2010 Calgary Economic Outlook, released in early October, Adam Legge, vice-president and chief economist with Calgary Economic Development, said further job losses are expected the rest of this year and into the first quarter of 2010, particularly in the natural gas and services side of the energy sector.

“Continued slow activity in the natural gas sector is expected to exact further employment impacts in the Calgary region, pushing the unemployment rate to eight per cent by (the) end of 2009,” said Legge. “Throughout the winter, with limited work on the natural gas side, the unemployment rate is expected to rise slightly above eight per cent before it begins to move back down to approximately 7.4 per cent by (the) end of 2010.”

Economist Dan Sumner, with ATB Financial in Calgary, said the professional, scientific and technical services category accounted for the majority of the province’s job losses “as business apparently felt the need to lay off lawyers, accountants, engineers, architects and the like.”

“October’s unemployment report was undoubtedly more negative than expected, particularly at the provincial level,” said Sumner. “Still, with economies generally showing signs of stabilization, it is possible that Alberta and Canada are nearing their unemployment peaks.”

Hector Goudreau, the province’s minister of employment and immigration, said there are other economic indicators that are pointing to a “steady economic recovery.”

He pointed out that Alberta’s unemployment rate is also the third lowest in the country, behind only Saskatchewan’s 5.3 per cent and Manitoba’s 5.8 per cent.

You can read the rest of this article at The Calgary herald.

Alberta jobless rate rises
CHQR Newsroom

Employment in Alberta decreased by 15,000 in October, pushing the unemployment rate up 0.4 percentage points to 7.5 per cent.
Since October 2008, Alberta’s employment has fallen more than three per cent – the steepest rate of decline among all provinces. Nationally, the jobless rate rose to 8.6 per cent in October, a surprise to economists who expected a gain. If there was good news, it was a marginal increase in full-time employment -most job losses came in the part-time category.

Calgary Food Bank sees demand skyrocket
Michael Judson | Sunday, November 8th, 2009 4:16 pm

The Calgary Food Bank is in the grips of a crisis as they try and deal with the greatest increase in demand for food in its 27-year history.

Food Banks CEO James McAra says they saw a 40 per cent increase in demand this year.

McAra tells the Calgary Herald Calgarians received almost 125,000 emergency food hampers in the 12 months ending this September.

Food banks across the city have reported a steady increase of patrons in need, and with more and more jobs being lost, they expect demand to keep growing.

0 thoughts on “Once economic savior of Canada; now economic nightmare”

  1. I think you could help the unemployed even more by letting people know how useless Harpers economic action plan is.

    Feel free to link to this website http://www.fakeactionplan.com and send the link to all your friends too. I send the link to the PM yesterday

    PS: While your there check out Rick Mercers Youtube video too. The link in on the right just scroll down a ways

    Yes, if everybody knew how useless the Action Plan is maybe something would be get done.

    Ted 999

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