Unemployment rates over the past year or so: August 2009 – September 2010

FOR THE UNITED STATES

Is it wrong for me to quickly mention how pretty this graph is?

I know it’s dealing with unemployment (boo!), but they did a great job.

Via Flowing Data

AS FOR CANADIAN DATA

This just released on The Globe & Mail: Long-term joblessness on the rise (they also have a neat interactive graph there to click on).

Some choice bits from the article:

Canada has won back all the jobs lost during the economic meltdown, but for the country’s 1.5 million unemployed the recession’s shadow lingers.

The duration of unemployment is now running at a 10-year high. The number of workers who have been jobless for at least 12 months has swelled by a third in the past year.

Two short years ago, David Dickson was a director of finance at PepsiCo Inc., where he earned about $180,000 a year.

He lived well, drove a BMW and took his three kids to hotels each month, eating out every week.

Then the recession hit. Not only did the 41-year-old lose his job, he also lost nearly a quarter of a million dollars in investments. Home renovation costs forced him to cash in $40,000 in retirement savings, and he ran up $60,000 in debts to survive. His health suffered – insomnia and anxiety forced him to seek therapy.

A year and a half of unemployment eventually forced him to use a food bank.

He has since found a job, after offering to work the first three months for free, though a pay cut and lingering debts means he “may never recuperate.”

Emergency fund savings & living below your means even in times of super high income? Two very important things, folks.

I feel bad for the Dicksons.

I know you might be thinking: How can you feel bad for them, FB!? They were earning $180,000 and they didn’t save a penny!

Yeah I know. They only lived in the short-term, didn’t save enough and clearly didn’t exercise any frugality with their lifestyle, but it’s still a sad situation to be in, regardless of how much they were making before.

It is stories like this that makes me so grateful for what I have and what has been given to me. It also makes me want to stay buckled down on my expenses, and to keep myself in check, with a few indulgences here and there.

As of September, 300,000 of Canada’s 1.5 million jobless workers have now been out of a job for 27 weeks or longer – a proportion that’s doubled from prerecession levels.

The number of people who have been out of work for 53 weeks or more has jumped by more than a third to 101,700 from last September. Nearly two-thirds of them are men, with the majority in the 25- to 54-year-old age category.

Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia have the greatest number of people who have been out of the work force for more than a year, StatsCan’s figures show.

The average number of weeks of unemployment rose to a decade high of 21.4 weeks in September, from 18.4 weeks a year earlier. The spell is longest for men and women over 55, who tend to experience 35 weeks of unemployment. The duration is longest in Quebec.

I can’t say I’m surprised.

Still, it makes me wonder how many people are out of a job because they won’t take something ‘below’ their skill set, or if they really can’t find anything to help stop the bleeding from their bank accounts.

I feel awful for these elderly workers the most. I hate that their experience is going to waste, and they are so close to retirement.

Just the other day, I heard that a man who was about to retire this year ended up dying unexpectedly from a heart attack.

Life really is unpredictable. (Sorry for the doom and gloom!)

And lastly, some notes on our neighbours south of the border:

The situation isn’t as dire as in the U.S., where almost half of jobless workers have been out of work for six months or longer. But it’s a sticky problem that continues to worsen in Canada. And while the issue is much discussed south of the border, it has merited scarcely a mention in Canada.

OH & BEFORE YOU RUN AWAY!

My buddyKevin of Thousandaire.com has entered a contest called the “Spendster Second Chance Video Contest.”

He made a music video about his track shoes. Go here and vote for it.

Also, congratulations to Rachel of It’s a Hero who won this book – Psych yourself rich, I was giving away recently.

I have another giveaway on the go at the moment — it’s for a ring from Etsy. Check out my current posts on my main page.

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About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.