It would be wise to heed reality

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As much as government and business leaders attempt to reassure Canadians that the worst of the recession is over, reality says otherwise.
Figures released by Statistics Canada indicate the recession is continuing to ravage the job market and things aren't expected to improve anytime soon. The stats show 61,300 more jobs were eliminated nationwide in March, pushing the national unemployment rate up to eight per cent - a rate that hasn't been seen in seven years.
The cuts hit all parts of the country and practically all industries. Even more scary is the fact the recession has led to the elimination of more than 357,000 jobs in Canada since the business sector began uttering the R word last year in response to the growing economic mess in the United States.
"The job losses over the past few months have made it unambiguously clear that the Canadian labour market is weakening at a very dramatic pace," said Millan Mulraine, an economic strategist at TD securities. "And with the Canadian economy continuing to weaken, the outlook for labour market conditions remains very grim."
Mulraine's comments aren't too optimistic, but they are reality.
Of greater concern is how deep this economic downturn is going to get and how long will it be before the R-word is replaced with the D-word, signifying a depression. While many lessons have been learned from the 1929 stock market crash and the Dirty Thirties, it's important for Canadians to take a refresher course in history and take heed that the same mistakes 80 years ago aren't repeated today.
Most important, it appears the days of buy now, pay later are over and as much as government and business want everyone to spend their way out of the recession through an ambitious economic stimulus package, it's going to be pretty hard for Canadians to spend money they don't have. It wouldn't be wise to encourage them to go deeper into debt at a time when credit is harder to come by and the chances of paying it off are growing slimmer as more and more receive pink slips.

Organizations: Statistics Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank

Geographic location: Canada, United States

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