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October 02, 2021

Average job search now takes six months, an all-time high

Who wants some depressing news for the weekend? Anyone?

Sure as Oprah’s mortality was proven early Friday, Canada is in some serious financial peril.

But what’s causing our nation’s $5.8 billion deficit isn’t a beast like we’ve quite seen before.

Slowing revenue and increases in program spending we’ve weathered in the past, yet unprecedented cash lost to an auto industry bailout and spiked levels of unemployment benefit claims appear to be doing us no favours.

And it is that latter variable that is really doing Canada in. While the auto industry at least shows some signs of stabilization, unemployment is still sky-high and an ease on those claims is tough to see anytime soon.

News stories like these don’t make that fact any easier to swallow, either.

On the same day the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston boss predicted unemployment in the U.S. (and, let’s face it, in Canada too) would stay high for the next two years, Bloomberg now reports the recorded U.S. 9.8% unemployment rate is probably much lower than the actual number.

What’s worse is the time between job lay-off and job rehire is almost as big as it’s ever been.

This week colleague Gordon Powers reported that, while online job postings were actually up, there are still about four unemployed workers fighting for any opening that does come up.

In fact, in the U.S., the average job search period now takes over six months, the longest average since the government started keeping tabs on unemployment in 1948.

Here in Canada, that number doesn’t seem far off. Pretty good sign that if we’re going to turn deficit into surplus anytime soon, it won’t be easy unless more jobs are created.

Like, now.

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...