While the Canadian economy is in better shape than many of our international counterparts, the strength of our Canadian dollar continues to be a concern for the manufacturing sector.
Due to the economic instability in Greece, Europe and the US, and a strengthening economy in Canada, our dollar has continued to hold strong. A strong Canadian dollar means the cost to manufacture and import products from Canada is more expensive. Over time, a strong dollar causes organizations to reconsider their Canadian manufacturing operations.
Between 2008 and 2009, 250,000 manufacturing jobs were lost in Canada. Some experts have speculated that the strong Canadian dollar could result in a second wave of layoffs in the manufacturing sector.
The Canadian job market isn’t what it once was. As recently as 15 years ago, “The Canadian Dream” was to get a job with a good company, work hard for 25 years or so and then retire with benefits. No one believed in that dream more than the thousands of GM employees who lost their jobs in 2009, some after many years of service and pension contributions.
The job landscape has changed. Many companies now hire employees on a contract or consulting basis and have a much higher turnover ratio than what was seen in the workplace in years past. Some employers have capitalized on the news of the troubled economy, trimming their workforces without even making it on the news.
So what can you do if you work in an industry that is impacted by the economy and have a strong feeling that a layoff may be in your near future? Get your financial house in order!
You have many more financial options available to you while you are still employed. Take a good hard look at your finances, your budget and your debts. If you owe debt that is more than you can pay in full in the near future, consider a debt consolidation loan. You will have a better chance of getting approved for a consolidation loan if you are employed. Once laid off, you will likely not qualify, as most banks require applicants to be gainfully employed. A debt consolidation may be a good choice to deal with debt as it usually results in a reduction to monthly payments creating a greater cash flow.
Look for ways to trim your budget then add those savings to any cash flow you have already created by consolidating or paying off your debts. Start to bank that money immediately. Try to bank as much money as possible so that if you are laid off, you have a safety net while you wait for employment insurance or find another job.
If you have been laid off, cannot manage your debt and have not been able to get approved for a debt consolidation loan, you may have other options. The Federal Government has introduced programs that provide immediate debt relief and protection to those who cannot pay their debts. For more information about dealing with your debt before a layoff, please visit http://www.debtcare.ca/