I know that in the past few years this trade has enjoyed a bit of a renaissance. There has been great demand for our skills, and pay levels have increased in step with it.
But, high fuel costs last summer have stifled a lot of companies, and in my opinion sparked the brewing economic meltdown we have experienced. Oil prices have since tanked hitting the profit margin hard in the tar sands. Expansions have been cancelled, and I have to wonder about the short term viability of the project.
It has hit hard across the country. The automotive sector has seen outputs drop 40-50% over last year. Even Toyota is hit hard, and there is much wonder if the domestic industry will survive. This leads to less runs for trucking companies, which leads to fewer trucks, and therefore fewer of us to keep them running. You get the idea.
IHC and Sterling are shutting down here in Ontario. Last month has seen the highest job losses in 30 years, and may approach levels of the great depression.
We are just entering the real mess here, and how deep and how long it will be is anyone's guess. We are in uncharted territory, even the financial gurus tossing up their arms as what to do. Talk of recession is turning to talk of depression in some circles.
So, I guess my point here is will us technicians be able to continue to enjoy the improvements made over that last while, or will we sink into the same cesspool of unemployment that is spreading through the rest of the labour market.