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Disaster Planning or the Worst Case Scenario

End of Year Financial Ideas

Any financial planning you may be doing for next year, needs to include a Disaster Recovery plan. I have had a few folks tell me that this is morbid, but as a Project Manager I have learned that you are being naive if you do not have some kind of disaster recovery plan in place, to deal with unexpected events in your life, in general, and in your financial life, in specific.

What kind of catastrophic financial events? Some simple examples might be:

  • Bread winner loses job, if your household’s main income earner loses their job, what might happen? If you don’t have a plan in place for that, and an emergency fund to deal with this, you are asking for trouble. I used to think I couldn’t lose my job, but it eventually happened, and luckily I was taken care of, but I was not prepared, and it could have been much worse. Different experts suggest 3-6 months pay in reserve, I’d say a year’s pay is your ultimate goal, having lived through it. If you think you don’t need an emergency fund because your company pays severance, that is what I thought, but then I saw what happened to my Co-Workers when Nortel went very south.
  • Bread Winner passes away, again, if you have a family and don’t have Life Insurance, or a big packet of money hidden somewhere, you are living on the edge. Does your loved ones know whether you have life insurance and what to do should you die? They need to know (as well). As soon as you get married, get life insurance (Term in my opinion), yes it’s an expense, but you need it. Is there an up to date will? Hope there is, or there could be a big mess financially to follow.
  • Bread Winner disabled, disability insurance is a tricky topic with me. I have it through work, and bought it at my former employer, and my opinion is that you should get it, if you don’t have it, but I have seen compeling arguments that simply building up savings enough is just as good a way to deal with this contingency (I don’t agree, but it is another option). What about a power of attorney? Once someone is disabled mentally getting a power of attorney is a lot harder to put in place.
  • Stuff Gets Broke, a generic topic covering stuff like Home Insurance, Car Insurance and the like. Again, you need this insurance if you care about your stuff, and in most instances in a lot of places you must have these insurances (Car Insurance at least). If your house is paid off do you need Home Insurance? I think so, if just for the liability side of things, but for unforeseen things like fire and such as well.

Why Have These Stop Gaps?

Having these financial stop gaps in place you are protecting yourself and your family’s interests, but it is worthwhile doing a plan about each of these scenarios, to see how things might work. You don’t need to go into gross detail, but if you walk through the scenario you might learn the importance of:

  • Keeping your loved ones informed on where things are. If your spouse doesn’t know about your banking, or where your insurance is with, how will he or she find out? Where is your will or power of attorney? Again, are they up to date?
  • Are you sure you have enough insurance coverage? If you run through a scenario you might realize that you need both spouses incomes, and thus you might need to have the same coverage on each spouse.
  • If you go through the scenarios and feel confident you are prepared, you then have given yourself the great present of peace of mind, and that is important.

Saying that you did this 10 years ago and it was fine is asking for trouble as well, many things change over 10 years, review it and make sure your plans are still up to date and current.

{ 4 comments }

Better Late than Never, Employment Hovers in October

Due to my mind being a little preoccupied, I completely missed my buddies from Stats Canada publishing the October 2010 Labour Survey. My apologies to my regular readers who enjoy my nonsensical commentary on these interesting Statistical figures.

It was another month where the statistical values remained relatively the same, with gains in Full Time employment being offset by losses in Part Time employment, which makes me scratch my head (every month). If they could put together some kind of Index that weighted the value of Full Time employment in a better manner I think I’d be happier with the numbers.

In October, employment remained virtually unchanged for the second consecutive month, as full-time gains offset part-time losses. The unemployment rate edged down to 7.9% and has been around 8% for the past seven months.

Unemployment rate dropping is always a good thing to read about, and given the rates seen South of the Border, it’s good to see Canada is slowly creating more jobs (or losing less jobs).

Employment Graphic

Employment Graph for the Past Little While

The graph seems to suggest that our employment numbers have recovered from the Great Economic Plotz of 2008, but that remains to be seen as well.

The unemployment graph gives us a little more optimism too.

Unemployment Numbers

Canadian Unemployment Graph

The most interesting comment in the report, is:

The number of people working full-time continued to rise in October, up 47,000, bringing gains to 164,000 over the past three months. At the same time, the total number of hours worked has edged up.

Part-time employment fell by 44,000 in October, with losses totalling 132,000 over the past three months.

A final interesting graphic, does kind of give me a better view on this whole Full Time vs. Part Time argument:

Hours Worked

Hours Worked Graphic

The Big Table

As most of my regular readers know, I love the Big Tables from these kind of data sets, and this months table shows some interesting info as usual:

Sept 2010 Oct 2010 Sept to
Oct 2010
Oct 2009
to
Oct 2010
Sept
to
Oct 2010
Oct 2009
to
Oct 2010
Seasonally adjusted
thousands change in thousands % change
Both sexes, 15 years and over
Population 27,809.6 27,840.4 30.8 407.3 0.1 1.5
Labour force 18,702.7 18,698.4 -4.3 319.1 0.0 1.7
Employment 17,209.7 17,212.7 3.0 375.2 0.0 2.2
Full-time 13,862.6 13,909.8 47.2 218.6 0.3 1.6
Part-time 3,347.1 3,302.9 -44.2 156.5 -1.3 5.0
Unemployment 1,493.0 1,485.7 -7.3 -56.0 -0.5 -3.6
Participation rate 67.3 67.2 -0.1 0.2
Unemployment rate 8.0 7.9 -0.1 -0.5
Employment rate 61.9 61.8 -0.1 0.4
Part-time rate 19.4 19.2 -0.2 0.5
Youths, 15 to 24 years
Population 4,409.3 4,409.8 0.5 10.7 0.0 0.2
Labour force 2,821.0 2,827.4 6.4 17.0 0.2 0.6
Employment 2,401.6 2,402.7 1.1 20.3 0.0 0.9
Full-time 1,250.1 1,251.1 1.0 -44.6 0.1 -3.4
Part-time 1,151.6 1,151.5 -0.1 64.8 0.0 6.0
Unemployment 419.4 424.7 5.3 -3.3 1.3 -0.8
Participation rate 64.0 64.1 0.1 0.2
Unemployment rate 14.9 15.0 0.1 -0.2
Employment rate 54.5 54.5 0.0 0.3
Part-time rate 48.0 47.9 -0.1 2.3
Men, 25 years and over
Population 11,447.7 11,462.5 14.8 196.6 0.1 1.7
Labour force 8,443.1 8,411.5 -31.6 150.6 -0.4 1.8
Employment 7,841.1 7,834.5 -6.6 235.2 -0.1 3.1
Full-time 7,213.3 7,220.3 7.0 191.1 0.1 2.7
Part-time 627.8 614.3 -13.5 44.2 -2.2 7.8
Unemployment 602.1 576.9 -25.2 -84.7 -4.2 -12.8
Participation rate 73.8 73.4 -0.4 0.1
Unemployment rate 7.1 6.9 -0.2 -1.1
Employment rate 68.5 68.3 -0.2 0.8
Part-time rate 8.0 7.8 -0.2 0.3
Women, 25 years and over
Population 11,952.7 11,968.0 15.3 199.9 0.1 1.7
Labour force 7,438.5 7,459.5 21.0 151.5 0.3 2.1
Employment 6,967.0 6,975.5 8.5 119.7 0.1 1.7
Full-time 5,399.2 5,438.4 39.2 72.2 0.7 1.3
Part-time 1,567.7 1,537.1 -30.6 47.6 -2.0 3.2
Unemployment 471.6 484.1 12.5 31.9 2.7 7.1
Participation rate 62.2 62.3 0.1 0.2
Unemployment rate 6.3 6.5 0.2 0.3
Employment rate 58.3 58.3 0.0 0.0
Part-time rate 22.5 22.0 -0.5 0.3

{ 3 comments }

Employment and Unemployment up in August

Another example of sometimes you need to understand what is being measured before you attempt to interpret the data coming from our friends at Stats Canada.

Employment increased by 36,000 in August. At the same time, the unemployment rate edged up 0.1 percentage points to 8.1%, as more people entered the labour force.

So more jobs, but also more folks looking for jobs, means we end up with both indexes going up, unfortunately. This seems to buck what the U.S. is going through, where they are not getting back their employment numbers, so Canada seems to be doing a little better than our American Cousins.

Employment Numbers

Up to August 2010 Employment Graph

Now that we have that nice graph, here is the graph that makes your stomach kind of drop, when you see how unemployment has sky rocketed in a short period of time too.

Unemployment Numbers

To August 2010 Unemployment Graph

With September coming and kids going back to school it should be interesting to see how these numbers change with this in mind.

The Big Table

Here is the big table of employment and such by age group. This interests me just because I am older now.

July 2010 August 2010 July to August 2010 August 2009 to August 2010 July to August 2010 August 2009 to August 2010
Seasonally adjusted
thousands change in thousands % change
Both sexes, 15 years and over
Population 27,735.2 27,779.5 44.3 421.1 0.2 1.5
Labour force 18,673.6 18,727.1 53.5 306.5 0.3 1.7
Employment 17,180.5 17,216.3 35.8 396.3 0.2 2.4
Full-time 13,745.6 13,825.5 79.9 294.0 0.6 2.2
Part-time 3,434.9 3,390.8 -44.1 102.3 -1.3 3.1
Unemployment 1,493.1 1,510.9 17.8 -89.7 1.2 -5.6
Participation rate 67.3 67.4 0.1 0.1
Unemployment rate 8.0 8.1 0.1 -0.6
Employment rate 61.9 62.0 0.1 0.5
Part-time rate 20.0 19.7 -0.3 0.1
Youths, 15 to 24 years
Population 4,407.4 4,408.9 1.5 12.1 0.0 0.3
Labour force 2,846.2 2,862.5 16.3 2.1 0.6 0.1
Employment 2,445.5 2,443.5 -2.0 48.5 -0.1 2.0
Full-time 1,247.8 1,242.2 -5.6 29.2 -0.4 2.4
Part-time 1,197.7 1,201.3 3.6 19.3 0.3 1.6
Unemployment 400.7 419.0 18.3 -46.4 4.6 -10.0
Participation rate 64.6 64.9 0.3 -0.2
Unemployment rate 14.1 14.6 0.5 -1.7
Employment rate 55.5 55.4 -0.1 0.9
Part-time rate 49.0 49.2 0.2 -0.2
Men, 25 years and over
Population 11,411.8 11,433.0 21.2 204.8 0.2 1.8
Labour force 8,392.5 8,420.1 27.6 152.8 0.3 1.8
Employment 7,776.8 7,794.8 18.0 209.6 0.2 2.8
Full-time 7,124.5 7,179.2 54.7 174.9 0.8 2.5
Part-time 652.3 615.7 -36.6 34.8 -5.6 6.0
Unemployment 615.6 625.3 9.7 -56.8 1.6 -8.3
Participation rate 73.5 73.6 0.1 0.0
Unemployment rate 7.3 7.4 0.1 -0.9
Employment rate 68.1 68.2 0.1 0.6
Part-time rate 8.4 7.9 -0.5 0.2
Women, 25 years and over
Population 11,916.0 11,937.6 21.6 204.2 0.2 1.7
Labour force 7,434.9 7,444.5 9.6 151.7 0.1 2.1
Employment 6,958.1 6,977.9 19.8 138.1 0.3 2.0
Full-time 5,373.3 5,404.1 30.8 90.0 0.6 1.7
Part-time 1,584.9 1,573.8 -11.1 48.1 -0.7 3.2
Unemployment 476.8 466.6 -10.2 13.6 -2.1 3.0
Participation rate 62.4 62.4 0.0 0.2
Unemployment rate 6.4 6.3 -0.1 0.1
Employment rate 58.4 58.5 0.1 0.2
Part-time rate 22.8 22.6 -0.2 0.3

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Unemployment Edges Up a Little

Slight Skip Up for Unemployment

On Friday August 6th Stats Canada published their Labour Force Survery for July 2010 and the numbers are similar to previous months with a few small changes here and there.

Following strong gains in recent months, employment was little changed in July, with large full-time declines mostly offset by part-time gains. The unemployment rate edged up 0.1 percentage points to 8.0%.

Since the start of the upward trend in July 2009, employment has risen by 2.3% (+394,000).

Large full-time declines (-139,000) in July were mostly offset by part-time gains (+130,000). July’s strong part-time increase brings total gains in part time to 177,000 since July 2009. Over the same period, full-time employment has grown by 216,000.

So the loss of the full time jobs is a bit worrisome, creating more part time jobs is really not doing us that much good.

As can be seen from the graph we have hit a plateau in terms of employment for now:

Employment Numbers for Canada

Employment for the past little While

Unemployment edged up about 0.1% to 8.0% for July as well, but again, given the seasonal adjustments, the numbers are a little hard to nail down as a major issue.

UI Numbers

Unemployment goes up a Little

The September numbers, may show more of what is really going on, with kids returning to school and such, but again, something to look for.

The Big Table

As usual I include one of the BIG tables from Stats Canada so you can find your age group and see where you fit into these numbers (that is what I do normally).

Labour force characteristics by age and sex

Labour force characteristics by age and sex
June 2010 July 2010 June to July
2010
July ’09 to July ’10 June to July
2010
July ’09 to
July ’10
Seasonally adjusted
thousands change in thousands % change
Both sexes, 15 years and over
Population 27,696.6 27,735.2 38.6 409.2 0.1 1.5
Labour force 18,665.0 18,673.6 8.6 309.1 0.0 1.7
Employment 17,189.8 17,180.5 -9.3 393.7 -0.1 2.3
Full-time 13,884.6 13,745.6 -139.0 216.4 -1.0 1.6
Part-time 3,305.2 3,434.9 129.7 177.3 3.9 5.4
Unemployment 1,475.2 1,493.1 17.9 -84.6 1.2 -5.4
Participation rate 67.4 67.3 -0.1 0.1
Unemployment rate 7.9 8.0 0.1 -0.6
Employment rate 62.1 61.9 -0.2 0.5
Part-time rate 19.2 20.0 0.8 0.6
Youths, 15 to 24 years
Population 4,405.8 4,407.4 1.6 11.3 0.0 0.3
Labour force 2,876.6 2,846.2 -30.4 -11.9 -1.1 -0.4
Employment 2,457.5 2,445.5 -12.0 47.5 -0.5 2.0
Full-time 1,265.5 1,247.8 -17.7 12.4 -1.4 1.0
Part-time 1,192.0 1,197.7 5.7 35.1 0.5 3.0
Unemployment 419.1 400.7 -18.4 -59.4 -4.4 -12.9
Participation rate 65.3 64.6 -0.7 -0.4
Unemployment rate 14.6 14.1 -0.5 -2.0
Employment rate 55.8 55.5 -0.3 1.0
Part-time rate 48.5 49.0 0.5 0.5
Men, 25 years and over
Population 11,393.4 11,411.8 18.4 200.2 0.2 1.8
Labour force 8,374.5 8,392.5 18.0 141.4 0.2 1.7
Employment 7,771.3 7,776.8 5.5 204.5 0.1 2.7
Full-time 7,173.5 7,124.5 -49.0 132.7 -0.7 1.9
Part-time 597.8 652.3 54.5 71.8 9.1 12.4
Unemployment 603.2 615.6 12.4 -63.2 2.1 -9.3
Participation rate 73.5 73.5 0.0 -0.1
Unemployment rate 7.2 7.3 0.1 -0.9
Employment rate 68.2 68.1 -0.1 0.6
Part-time rate 7.7 8.4 0.7 0.7
Women, 25 years and over
Population 11,897.4 11,916.0 18.6 197.7 0.2 1.7
Labour force 7,414.0 7,434.9 20.9 179.7 0.3 2.5
Employment 6,961.1 6,958.1 -3.0 141.6 0.0 2.1
Full-time 5,445.7 5,373.3 -72.4 71.3 -1.3 1.3
Part-time 1,515.4 1,584.9 69.5 70.4 4.6 4.6
Unemployment 452.9 476.8 23.9 38.0 5.3 8.7
Participation rate 62.3 62.4 0.1 0.5
Unemployment rate 6.1 6.4 0.3 0.4
Employment rate 58.5 58.4 -0.1 0.2
Part-time rate 21.8 22.8 1.0 0.6
not applicable
Note(s):
Related CANSIM table 282-0087.

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Employment Numbers Jump for June

The June employment numbers came out on Friday and there was some very good news in those numbers (and more likely than not because of them, another Interest Rate Hike coming very soon as well).


Employment rose by 93,000 in June, pushing the unemployment rate down 0.2 percentage points to 7.9%. This is the first time the rate has been below the 8% mark since January 2009.

This suggests that the employment rate is close to where it was before the great crash of 2 years ago, which is encouraging news, although Unemployment numbers don’t reflect the same feelings, but they are better as well.

The Big Canadian Employment Graph

The Big Canadian Employment Graph

Unemployment’s problems is that there are just that many more folks looking for jobs and in the work force now, so the Unemployment rate reflects the fact that many people are still looking, even with 93.000 new jobs being created in June.

Canadian Unemployment Numbers

The Big Graph of Canadian Unemployment

The graph shows a decrease in the unemployment rate, but a long way to go to get back to the historically low numbers from only 2.5 years ago.

Where was all of this growth? Surprisingly in Ontario and Quebec:


Ontario’s employment was up 60,000 in June, the sixth consecutive monthly gain. This brings employment increases in the province to 187,000 (+2.9%) since July 2009. With these gains, Ontario’s employment is slightly below its pre-recession level. In June, the unemployment rate fell 0.6 percentage points to 8.3%, the lowest since January 2009.

Interesting that Ontario seems to be rebounding, wonder where all these folks are now working?

The Big Employment Table

There are many tables on the Stats Canada web site, and I encourage readers to go over and look at the raw data, just to get a feeling for the great work done by Stats Canada.

May 2010 June 2010 May to
June 2010
June 2009
to June 2010
May to
June 2010
June 2009
to June 2010
Seasonally adjusted
thousands change in thousands % change
Both sexes, 15 years and over
Population 27,651.8 27,696.6 44.8 404.3 0.2 1.5
Labour force 18,603.0 18,665.0 62.0 270.3 0.3 1.5
Employment 17,096.6 17,189.8 93.2 372.3 0.5 2.2
Full-time 13,835.7 13,884.6 48.9 345.0 0.4 2.5
Part-time 3,261.0 3,305.2 44.2 27.3 1.4 0.8
Unemployment 1,506.4 1,475.2 -31.2 -102.0 -2.1 -6.5
Participation rate 67.3 67.4 0.1 0.0
Unemployment rate 8.1 7.9 -0.2 -0.7
Employment rate 61.8 62.1 0.3 0.5
Part-time rate 19.1 19.2 0.1 -0.3
Youths, 15 to 24 years
Population 4,404.2 4,405.8 1.6 10.9 0.0 0.2
Labour force 2,871.8 2,876.6 4.8 2.7 0.2 0.1
Employment 2,436.8 2,457.5 20.7 32.6 0.8 1.3
Full-time 1,271.5 1,265.5 -6.0 -4.5 -0.5 -0.4
Part-time 1,165.3 1,192.0 26.7 37.1 2.3 3.2
Unemployment 435.0 419.1 -15.9 -30.0 -3.7 -6.7
Participation rate 65.2 65.3 0.1 -0.1
Unemployment rate 15.1 14.6 -0.5 -1.0
Employment rate 55.3 55.8 0.5 0.6
Part-time rate 47.8 48.5 0.7 0.9
Men, 25 years and over
Population 11,372.0 11,393.4 21.4 198.4 0.2 1.8
Labour force 8,346.5 8,374.5 28.0 135.0 0.3 1.6
Employment 7,712.5 7,771.3 58.8 219.1 0.8 2.9
Full-time 7,117.3 7,173.5 56.2 197.0 0.8 2.8
Part-time 595.2 597.8 2.6 22.1 0.4 3.8
Unemployment 634.0 603.2 -30.8 -84.1 -4.9 -12.2
Participation rate 73.4 73.5 0.1 -0.1
Unemployment rate 7.6 7.2 -0.4 -1.1
Employment rate 67.8 68.2 0.4 0.7
Part-time rate 7.7 7.7 0.0 0.1
Women, 25 years and over
Population 11,875.6 11,897.4 21.8 194.9 0.2 1.7
Labour force 7,384.8 7,414.0 29.2 132.8 0.4 1.8
Employment 6,947.4 6,961.1 13.7 120.7 0.2 1.8
Full-time 5,446.9 5,445.7 -1.2 152.5 0.0 2.9
Part-time 1,500.5 1,515.4 14.9 -31.9 1.0 -2.1
Unemployment 437.4 452.9 15.5 12.1 3.5 2.7
Participation rate 62.2 62.3 0.1 0.1
Unemployment rate 5.9 6.1 0.2 0.0
Employment rate 58.5 58.5 0.0 0.0
Part-time rate 21.6 21.8 0.2 -0.8

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