We’re making the recession worse (Editor’s notes)

Hasty layoffs hurt organizations more than economic crisis
By Todd Humber
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 02/19/2009

In January, Canada lost 129,000 jobs — almost all full time — as the unemployment rate soared 0.6 percentage points to 7.2 per cent. That loss in jobs exceeds any monthly decline during the previous economic downturns of the 1980s and 1990s.

Ouch. But let’s keep things in perspective. After all, 7.2 per cent is not a catastrophic unemployment rate. Yes, there are some very painful individual stories behind the numbers. But, from a big-picture perspective, 7.2 per cent is not apocalyptic.

Just look at the unemployment rate historically. While the rate has certainly bounced around in the last 50 years, there are many years where it was similar to the current rate and more than a handful where it was much higher.