As summer ended, so did the employment of an astonishingly large number of Canadians. Statistics Canada released their August Labour Force Survey on Friday and it showed a sizable decrease in the number of jobs in Canada, especially in the private sector.
The report, which followed the infamous July Labour Force Survey that had to be corrected, states that the Canadian economy lost a total of 11,000 jobs in August, consisting of 2,300 full-time and about 8,700 part-time jobs.
The real stunner, however, was the disappearance of over 112,000 jobs in the private sector, the highest number of private sector job losses in Canada ever recorded.
Jeff Schwartz, executive director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, says it was a tough month for many Canadians –
“Losing a job unexpectedly is a shocking event for anyone,” says Schwartz. “A decrease or loss of income can make paying off debt an impossible task. The volatility of today’s job market is all the more reason to make a commitment to living debt free – and saving money before a job loss occurs.”
Schwartz’ assessment of a volatile job market was echoed in comments by RBC Assistant Chief Economist Dawn Desjardins who wrote that the August job data was “disappointing and marked the continuation of the up/down pattern in employment levels for a 10th consecutive month.”
With an uncertain future facing unemployed Canadians, Consolidated Credit has put together a few tips to help them get through these tough times –
Take stock – The first thing to do is figure out what kind of financial situation you are in. Before worrying about how to budget your money or how to deal with debt, you need to get a clear sense of your financial picture. Factor in every expense, no matter how small, and what kind of income you can expect to earn during this transitional period between jobs.
Create a spending, saving and debt management plan – When income decreases, or disappears altogether, it can make you feel like you’ve lost your way. Making a plan for how you will reduce spending while paying off debt is a first step towards getting through this tough time. If possible, keep servicing your debt and try to pay more than just the credit card minimum payment. For the best debt advice, you may want to enlist the help of a credit counsellor as they are trained to find the best debt solutions to your individual situation.
Don’t give up – We’ve heard the saying a thousand times, but now you really have to live it – “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”. The easiest way to survive a job loss is to find new employment but that task is easier said than done. However, you can put yourself in the best position to succeed by spending your days applying for jobs and doing everything within your power to get your foot in the door. Take an entry level position or start volunteering. The skills you learn in these positions could make you a more attractive candidate when another job that you really desire opens up.
Be frugal – Managing debt when dealing with a reduced income starts with learning how to save money. 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 in favour of taking public transportation or even a bicycle to work. And, if you continue these habits after you get back on your feet, you’ll be well on your way to living debt free and you won’t have to worry about getting out of debt or a credit card debt problem again.
If you want to learn more about making responsible financial decisions, check out Consolidated Credit’s free Personal Finance educational section. If you’re struggling with debt, call one of our trained counsellors today at for a free debt analysis.