(TORONTO, ON) – More Canadians are confident about their job security, and this has pushed consumer confidence to its highest point in two months. This is despite the fact that Statistics Canada’s most recent employment stats show a net loss of 11,000 jobs in August. Buried within these numbers is the stunning loss of 112,000 private sector jobs; the largest dip ever recorded in the Canadian private sector.
The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index shows that more than 70 per cent of Canadians feel their job is at least somewhat secure – the highest job confidence rates in three years.
Jeff Schwartz, Executive Director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc. says positivity and confidence are good things, but they can sometimes cloud judgment.
“Canadians shouldn’t be blind to the sluggish job market,” warns Schwartz. “The job data from the summer shows the cold-hard truth that employment is never a guaranteed thing, and people need to be prepared for that.”
And with last week’s Statistics Canada report saying averagely weekly pay is staying relatively stagnant, rising to $940 per week compared to $937 from the previous month and only up 3.3% from the prior year, perhaps the confidence is misplaced.
Consolidated Credit offers the following sobering solutions to Canadians who might want to take a more cautious route and prepare themselves for an unexpected loss or reduction in income:
- Take stock – Know exactly where your finances stand. Factor in every expense, no matter how small, and tally up your income. See where your money is going and where it is coming from. If you’re spending more than you’re earning, you need to take action now and minimize debt. If you are earning extra, be sure to tuck some of it away in a rainy-day fund.
- Create a spending, saving and debt management plan -Exercise due diligence and try to place yourself in the most secure financial position possible. Set specific savings goals and include deadlines. Some methods could include setting up a PAC (Pre-Authorized Contributions) so that a portion of your income will automatically go to your savings account. Start by making small but consistent contributions.
- Be frugal –Cut back on some of the luxuries you enjoy and make the cheaper choice. This includes things as small as choosing a generic brand of cereal and extends to making the decision to sell your second car and take public transit instead. Spending your money wisely today will help you save money for potentially tough times down the road. It will also reinforce spending habits that will help you through any situation.
- Always be ready – If you have the slightest fear of potential job loss, you should always be exploring a plan “B” in case you find yourself unemployed. Reaching out to industry contacts and maintaining an updated rÃ©sumÃ© and online presence will help position you to go on the offensive immediately if you need to hunt for a new job.
“Consumer confidence is a good thing for the broader economy,” adds Schwartz. “But every day we deal with clients who suddenly came on hard times and didn’t have a backup plan. Saving up for the proverbial rainy day is the best thing you can do.”
About Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc.: Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada is a national non-profit credit counselling organization that teaches consumers about personal finance.
For more information or to request an interview with Jeffrey Schwartz, please contact:
Jacob MacDonald, Public Relations Coordinator, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc., T: 416-915-7283 ext.1041, C: 647-390-5253, F: 416-915-5200, E: [email protected]