Friday, March 13, 2009

Highest Unemployment in 6 years in Alberta

A while ago, I wrote a post, titled 5 years undone.
Some people did not appreciate it fully at that time. Perhaps they will now, as the decline in economic activity brought Alberta in tandem with the rest of the country. Unemployment in Feb was up to 5.4 %, the highest level in 6 years. That takes us back to 2003. This is officially 6 years of jobs gone, and we have not even started the real carnage. Double digit unemployment is very likely before the year is out.
While some people can continue to please (or amuse) themselves by looking at slight upticks in the daily or even monthly real estate prices, these numbers still do not reflect the underlying realities such as:
  1. More stringent Lending standards.
  2. Changed Employment picture -Normalcy is being restored in the market, from an 'employees' market to employers market.
  3. Real Estate prices are still very high. If we have unwound to the unemployment levels of 2003, energy prices of 2003, why won't we unwind to real estate prices of 2003?
  4. End of of euphoria. While the central banks are trying hard to inflate another bubble, it may not happen. Japan couldn't re inflate even when they had the good fortune of exporting to countries experiencing two booms (tech and housing) during the last ten years.
Have a good weekend everyone.
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