Tough Times

This topic contains 4 replies and was last updated by mike-jones 12 years 10 months ago
February 7th, 2009 5:35am
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.
February 7th, 2009 11:54pm
It is really worrying to also see how many small businesses failing. I know many local business owners in restaurants, and construction, and they are all expressing their need to layoff. I hope there are some sparks of a new revitalization soon.

BTW really good post. You should post this in the news section.
February 20th, 2009 4:38pm
My guess is that in the short term there will be more lay off of technicians but it will not last. A lot of layoffs are from natural resources that are becoming more expensive to produce than they are selling for. Eventually when production stops prices will go back up and technicians will be needed again. A timeline for this is not clear but many are suggesting that 2009 will be a dark year but should be picking up in the 3rd quarter of the year.

In the future what will likely happen is a decrease in wages across the board for technicians but it should go back to being a very stable career choice.
February 20th, 2009 9:01pm
Agreed. But that would be for normal supply vs demand studies that you study in basic economics.

What we are dealing with here is a financial meltdown of global proportions fueled by the collapse of many US banks, as well as many more in Europe that were caught up in the mortgage scam. That in itself warrants a deep discussion.

But the outcome here is that we are charting new waters. Even the experts are throwing up their hands as to where this will all go and end. The bottom has not been seen yet, and we don't know when or how low it will be.

We are seeing the global price for oil now hovering in the $35-40 arena, which is not enough for the Tar Sands to remain viable. But, I do understand that in reality it is selling for about $10/barrel more than the price you see quoted on the news every night. And what is being paid on the everyday market is dictating the price we pay at the pumps. It's complex, and I am still trying to wrap my head around it.

The real result is what is placing us in this deep recession. There are no precedents as to what is happening unless you look at the factors the drove us into the depression in the 30's. There you will find some remarkable similarities.

Obama is spending money like a drunken sailor to try and pull the US out of the mess. Money that is 100% borrowed and which the taxpayer will be on the hook for many years, or even generations, to come.

In all, it does not look good for anyone. If you have a job, do what you can to keep it. Even if you don't like some facets of it. You're better of than a lot of people out there.

If our pay stalls even in the face of inflation, just be glad it's there. If we pull out of this mess, then there will be new horizons to look forward to. But we must hunker down and do what we need to do.

February 27th, 2009 1:26am
I agree with Karma however I live in the states and this crap started late 07 with a free fall in 08 and losts of negative talk for 09. I'm seeing the automobile dealerships walking away and the employees without a job the next day with no notice. The trucking is slow but in my shop we haven't let anyone go. I'm hearing the same in other dealerships. In California Arnold just signed the budget, the stimulus bill passed and hopefully things will start happening. Talk is in infrustructure so large contractors may be a good place for tech jobs. I've lived in the states for quit a while and see Canada is always a couple years behind in many areas. So if I was living in Canada I would compare the two to date and plan accordingly.

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