At this time of year, Canadians are gathering together their wish lists for the upcoming holidays. And while some may be sending these lists off to Santa Claus, others are actually wishing that their gift of getting a new job will come true. Of course, the nation is still reeling from the recession and during its current battle to have its economy recover, hope is all that some Canadians have.
Sadly, although it is the season for cheer and joy, The Canadian Press reported earlier today that “Canadians are becoming more pessimistic over the strength of the economic recovery and what it will mean for their finances and job security, a new consumer confidence survey shows.”
In the Conference Board of Canada’s monthly survey, it was found that in November, confidence had dropped 5.7 points to 79 per cent. The greatest concern among respondents is job security. The unfortunate loss of over 400,000 jobs in the past year is clearly a contributing factor to this result.
Things don’t seem to be getting much better either. Even companies as large as Rogers Communications were forced to slash over 900 employees this past week. According to the report published by The Toronto Star: “The November survey found only 19.7 per cent of the respondents expected to find more jobs available over the next six months, down 3.2 points from October. As well, 25 per cent said they believe fewer jobs will be on offer, up 1.2 points.”
The report also notes that some economists see these low levels of hope as signs that consumers will naturally continue to spend less causing only further strain on the economy. Other economists, however, place less importance on these surveys questioning their accuracy to predict future economic performance.
Nevertheless, the latest survey, in addition to the recent increase in job losses only strengthen the notion that Canada is further away from true recovery than expected. Consumer confidence has decreased all throughout the country with only Quebec and the Prairies showing no major changes from the previous month.
One of the more startling revelations to come about from the November survey is the fact that 25.6 per cent of respondents felt that their finances were worse than they were six months ago. With so many Canadians feeling that their situations are only worsening, there is fear that even during the holiday season, spending will remain low.
The wish lists mount, as does concern for the state of the national economy. While many are thinking of shopping at this time of year, so many more are concerned about securing those jobs that will help them to even think about shopping next year at this time.