The recession could have been worse, and it’s getting better


For the past three quarters, everyone has been asking the same questions: Are we in a recession? A depression? Or are we growing economically? Everyone is saying something different.

Unless you’re an economist, most of you have probably been asking yourself, “What’s in store for me?” Maybe you did everything you could to find a job this summer and couldn’t find anything. Maybe you just spent the last four years of your life at school and didn’t land the job you were looking for.

Before you get too worked up about it, we should check our history books to see if this has happened before and decide if it’s as bad as what previous generations have faced.

Earlier this month, Statistics Canada said this is the highest student unemployment rate since 1977 – at 20.9%. At this point,  governments are trying to lower student enrolment fees and increase student loans so they can recover from this nasty situation.

But this is not the first time this has happened. Our brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles and parents may have gone through the same thing. We had similar unemployment rates in Canada in 1977, 1982, 1991, 1993 and 1997.

About a month ago, the Bank of Canada announced that the recession is almost over, but the job market isn’t going to change overnight. We may still see more jobs being cut in the coming months.

What do you think? According to a poll by CBC News, a majority of Canadians think we are still in a recession – although a large number of them think we are nearing the end recession. I feel the same way. I don’t think we are out of the hole yet after various strong Canadian industries have declined so much.

However, this was one of the smallest recessions to hit Canada. The last major hit was in 1991 and lasted 25 months, with a loss of 462,000 jobs. This recession, although it feels a lot longer, has only lasted 9 months, with a loss of 400,000 jobs.

The whole reason behind this article is to say: don’t get too discouraged with this ongoing situation. If you couldn’t get a summer job or paid internship, or a full-time job, look on the bright side and stay optimistic. We can only go up from here and we are on the road to recovery – in fact, there’s a labour shortage on its way.

And don’t forget the fall recruitment season for most large companies is just around the corner!

About the author

Peter Coulson is an account manager at TalentEgg, focused on developing relationships with top quality employers and educators across Canada. Peter describes himself as a born entrepreneur: at an early age, he helped lead a successful renovations and construction business. After developing his skills in the trades, he worked his way up the ladder in sales, including in retail, finance, and IT recruitment. He has recently completed sales training courses as well as an advertising and sales copywriting course at the University of Toronto.