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Typo: "During the worst of the recession of the early 1990's, some 35% of the unemployed had been so for more than 66 weeks, and 18% had been out of a job for more than a year."

66 should be 26?

Neat graphs. Again, I am surprised by how "well" we have fared compared to 1983 and 1993. This is not what I expected when the financial crisis hit.

Gah - typo fixed; thanks.

And yes, yet another bullet dodged. Long-term unemployment was something worth worrying about, and worth doing something about, just in case.

While it is surprizing that the financial crisis did not cause further hardship, I don't think that it should be all that surprizing that Canada fared relatively better in this recession than in the past two, or that Canada fared better than most advanced economies.

I realize that hindsight is 20/20, but Canada entered this recession with a strong fiscal position, an intact banking system, a housing sector that hadn't collapsed, and with interest rates already low (i.e., the recession wasn't induced by high interest rates in response to inflation, meaning interest-sensitive sectors were still profitable). Admittedly, commodity prices collapsed, but once they rebounded, it should have been obvious that Canada would recover relatively quickly.

Of course I say this without noting the extraordiarily low central bank rates around the world.

Once again we were dupped into spending our tax dollars supporting extended vacations for unionized auto workers, and extended benefits for others who would have found work anyways.

Happy to support, but not happy knowing I'll never get the benefit of EI, just of privilege of paying for it.

Man, the slime trails that show up on this blog.

The short term issues with EI are not terrible, but we still have the long term issues.

EI takes in more than it pays out. The government uses the difference to finance its expenditures. This makes EI an employment tax. Does anybody here think this is a good idea?

Which way do you fix it? Given the awful maldistribution of income, wealth, and power in Canada I am all for increasing the payouts since they will strongly tend to go to people close to the bottom of the heap (not the bottom, since they are frozen out of jobs).

I think Canada made out fine because there was a concerted effort by the world generally, but the US in particular to aggressively pursue fiscal expansion. With a lot of money given directly to banks and investors coupled with low interest rates wouldn't it be a logical step to assume that that money made its way into commodities markets. The TSX can benefit because we have low corporate tax, specifically on direct capital investment, so there is money to be made there.

Since a significant portion of our population is employed by the government, which collects a fair bit (I actually don't know how much) of its revenue from taxes on direct investment and commodities, weren't we sort of fortunate???

What would happen tomorrow to unemployment if interest rates in the US increased to 5%, the fed began to contract its balance sheet and money started to get pulled out of commodities? How would we handle the budget deficits that arose form lost tax revenues? Cutting public sector jobs?

I don't think we should be patting ourselves on the back just yet, we still need a long term plan for growth (one that includes employment) and I don't think that foreign direct investment is it? Isn't that precipitated the US mess?

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