The Worst Place to Lose Your Job?

I was reading an article in CNN which was saying the worst place in the U.S. to lose your job (currently) is the state of Florida, which I guess I can understand, but at the end of it all, is there a good place to lose your job?

There are scenarios that could arise (I suppose) where if you lost your job (due to lay off, I am assuming, not due to you quitting or some other reason) it would not be that painful, but if you are actually getting laid off in Canada, where you live may be the worst place to be.

When I got laid off, it was part of a huge high-tech wipe out, and in Ottawa, at the time the major employers were the High Tech companies (and the government). A sudden huge influx of laid off folks will usually flood most job markets, and make finding a job that much harder, so why would you try to measure where is the worst place to be laid off? It is going to be hard to find a job (if your lay off is due to a market down turn, for example).

This has been seen over and over in Canada, where smaller towns and cities have relied on a specific employer and when that employer down sizes (or worse pulls up stakes and goes, or simply goes under), that City is devastated by the job losses. I suppose in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, there is a large enough base of companies that one firm suddenly throwing workers into the job searching market may not be quite as bad, as say in Ottawa, but that may not be the case either. Lay offs rarely happen in a booming economy, or even a healthy economy, so if layoffs are happening it is happening on a large-scale (i.e. one company coughs and the entire industry gets a cold).

If you get laid off, you need to know where you might have to look for a job (geographically), but where you live may not be the only problem that you have. Is your area of expertise hiring (locally or elsewhere) that is much more important, because if you just got laid off and your area of expertise is no longer relevant, then you will have issues.

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After the Axe

Our friends at the National Film Board have created an interesting dramatization about what happens when Managers get laid off?

This hour long video touches a little too close to the bone, as “Biff” faces a lot of the challenges that I faced when I was laid off from Nortel. I also unfortunately know many folks who lived through much worse than “Biff” did, the whole layoff thing is a pretty nasty thing to live through, but the older you are the harder it is to deal with.

This full-length drama depicts the reality of managers getting fired and the emergence of a new industry specialized in handling executive terminations. The film was made with the cooperation of the business community, which helped script some of the scenes and provided authentic locations. The central figure, D.R. “Biff” Wilson, 44, is a composite figure based on extensive conversations with fired executives.

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Job Hunting Tips

For those who have not been following me on the tweety you have been missing out on some helpful (if not sarcastic) job hunting tips that I learned throughout my job hunt a few years back.

I have been on both sides of the interview table, so I have interjected a lot of my own pet peeves to this list for candidates that I have met and wondered what they were thinking when they showed up to my job interview.

They are worth a read, and many of them are applicable to all jobs (and some are me being a smart ass). Some of the best Job Hunting Tips:

  • Tip 314: Always wear clean underwear to a job interview but never show them to your interviewer either
  • 319: Never answer any question in a job interview with “This bitch one time…”, unless you are a dog breeder
  • 271: Be Precise, e.g. “When I invented the Internet, I was working at…”, no one likes vagueness in job interviews
  • 666: Be complimentary with your interviewer: “That outfit doesn’t make you look nearly as fat as you are…”
  • 69: Hygiene is important, always shower before your interview, and cover all open sores and cuts
  • 13: If anyone asks you about your religious views, claim to be a Druid or a Sumarian Snakecharmer
  • 44: Humor has a place but don’t do the Uncle Buck mole bit if interviewer has one (don’t be a twiddler)
  • 313: One answer that always gets interviewer’s attention “Why the f*ck would you ask me that?”
  • 535: Scents make you memorable at an interview, but don’t eat bean burritos 2 hours beforehand, you are too memorable then
  • 345: Arguing with your interview about technical issues is OK, but MUST you be right
  • 478: The more the interviewer talks, the better you are doing, except if they are yelling about your lack of skills
  • 41: Tell someone you are using as a reference before you use them, “… who? That Idiot? I would never hire them!”, could be your reference.
  • 87: The only person you can “throw under the bus” in an interview is yourself, don’t blame others, explain why
  • 101: It’s good to seem to know a lot, but very bad to appear to be a Know-it-all keep that in mind
  • 311: Network more with people who have jobs, not as much with folks who are also looking for jobs
  • 444: Over 80% of jobs are found through “connections” and “contacts”, so get out and interact with folks!
  • 665: When interviewer asks “Any questions”, do not ask, “What are your sick leave rules like?”
  • 3: Think you are indispensable? You may be, until you are dispensed, start looking for jobs before you are dispensed.
  • 129: At the interview be sincere (once you can fake it, you are in)!
  • 37: Be agreeable but not a suck-up (unless that is what they want, then be one), be yourself once u have the job
  • 333: Don’t answer question “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” with “Doing your job, or better your boss”

Foolproof Job Hunting Tips

Hope these help, stay tuned I do have some more coming.


Better Employment Numbers

So some very good news from Stats Canada with 109,000 “new” jobs in April, which is very good news in a very murky time for economic news.

This is the biggest increase since August of 2002, so that is heartening news for those on the hunt for jobs, and for those pundits who are claiming that Canada is lagging behind in the “world recovery”.

Employment Graph from last year

Employment for the past little while

As the graph shows, we are not back to where we were in 2008, but we are accelerating nicely towards that point on the graph. Now a great deal of the increase is in part time jobs (65000) but 45000 are in Full Time jobs so any increase is a good thing. All of the increase is in the Private Sector, which suggests the alleged Government belt tightening is starting to take hold in all levels of government.

Unemployment Graph

Unemployment Graph for a while

Unemployment figures dropped as well, which is good, but we have a while until we can reach the good times of 2007 in terms of unemployment figures.

The Big Table

For those like me who love seeing all the figures, here they are, there are other tables available at the Stats Canada web site as well.

March 2010 April 2010 Mar to Apr 2010 Apr 2009
to Apr 2010
Mar to
Apr 2010
Apr 09
to Apr ’10
Seasonally adjusted
thousands change in thousands % change
Both sexes, 15 years and over
Population 27,585.2 27,618.4 33.2 400.8 0.1 1.5
Labour force 18,478.3 18,570.3 92.0 228.1 0.5 1.2
Employment 16,963.2 17,071.9 108.7 223.8 0.6 1.3
Full-time 13,724.6 13,768.4 43.8 145.6 0.3 1.1
Part-time 3,238.7 3,303.5 64.8 78.3 2.0 2.4
Unemployment 1,515.1 1,498.3 -16.8 4.1 -1.1 0.3
Participation rate 67.0 67.2 0.2 -0.2
Unemployment rate 8.2 8.1 -0.1 0.0
Employment rate 61.5 61.8 0.3 -0.1
Part-time rate 19.1 19.4 0.3 0.3
Youths, 15 to 24 years
Population 4,402.4 4,403.5 1.1 13.4 0.0 0.3
Labour force 2,861.5 2,874.6 13.1 -12.2 0.5 -0.4
Employment 2,415.0 2,438.1 23.1 -28.6 1.0 -1.2
Full-time 1,258.4 1,249.9 -8.5 -70.9 -0.7 -5.4
Part-time 1,156.7 1,188.1 31.4 42.2 2.7 3.7
Unemployment 446.4 436.5 -9.9 16.4 -2.2 3.9
Participation rate 65.0 65.3 0.3 -0.5
Unemployment rate 15.6 15.2 -0.4 0.6
Employment rate 54.9 55.4 0.5 -0.8
Part-time rate 47.9 48.7 0.8 2.2
Men, 25 years and over
Population 11,340.0 11,355.8 15.8 196.0 0.1 1.8
Labour force 8,255.3 8,308.7 53.4 122.8 0.6 1.5
Employment 7,635.5 7,707.3 71.8 159.7 0.9 2.1
Full-time 7,066.2 7,107.4 41.2 142.9 0.6 2.1
Part-time 569.3 599.9 30.6 16.8 5.4 2.9
Unemployment 619.8 601.4 -18.4 -36.9 -3.0 -5.8
Participation rate 72.8 73.2 0.4 -0.2
Unemployment rate 7.5 7.2 -0.3 -0.6
Employment rate 67.3 67.9 0.6 0.3
Part-time rate 7.5 7.8 0.3 0.1
Women, 25 years and over
Population 11,842.9 11,859.1 16.2 191.4 0.1 1.6
Labour force 7,361.5 7,386.9 25.4 117.3 0.3 1.6
Employment 6,912.6 6,926.6 14.0 92.8 0.2 1.4
Full-time 5,400.0 5,411.0 11.0 73.4 0.2 1.4
Part-time 1,512.7 1,515.5 2.8 19.3 0.2 1.3
Unemployment 448.8 460.4 11.6 24.7 2.6 5.7
Participation rate 62.2 62.3 0.1 0.0
Unemployment rate 6.1 6.2 0.1 0.2
Employment rate 58.4 58.4 0.0 -0.2
Part-time rate 21.9 21.9 0.0 0.0


Happy May day

Well, May day was actually on Saturday, but for we working folk, May Day should be celebrated on Monday, to show the Bourgeoisie Aristocracy, that the working man will one day rise up and shake off the shackles that they are held in (or something like that, I have forgotten too much of my Karl Marx to do this justice).

Last week we in Canada observed a day of mourning for those workers killed on the job (Wednesday I believe) and the flags were actually at half-mast, which I hadn’t noticed before, but again, I view that as a worthwhile observance (given how dangerous many jobs can be, and how easy it is for a workplace accident to take a worker’s life).

On the good news side of things, the Government is making noises that the deficit for this year may not be as bad as they thought with:

  • More income from folks who are finding jobs (and thus paying taxes).
  • Less outputs, by folks not collecting EI (because they are working), but also by choking off spending in the Government as well.

This is where the Government gets a double whammy with unemployment, not only does their income decrease, but their spending increases pretty much in direct proportion which makes for a very bad balance sheet. The one lucky point they have is that lending rates are so darn low these days, they are not getting bashed over the head with interest payments from the National Debt (well not as badly as say in the 80’s when interest rates were around 20%).

Does this mean we are “recovering”? Maybe, again, we’ll not know for sure for another couple of years, when we can look back and say, “Yes that definitely was a recovery we were experiencing”.

In Ontario the HST has started appearing. even though it really only starts until July 1, however if you were going to buy a yearly Health Club subscription, you’d start paying it as of today (sort of). Interesting how the media is painting this as some kind of catastrophe, and attempting to whip up public sentiment, but I guess that is what their job is as well. Watch for the HST coming to your home very soon (if not right now), if you live in Ontario or BC.


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