May 29, 2010

Early indicators of how the recession has hit BC’s poor


Just wanted to draw readers’ attention to a great op-ed piece in The Province newspaper this past Thursday: “Recession slammed BC’s poor; and it’s not over,” by Chandra Pasma. Chandra is a policy analyst with Citizens for Public Justice (a faith-based social justice group), and author of a recent report entitled Bearing the Brunt: How the Recession Created Poverty for Canadian Families.

Here’s an excerpt:

B.C. had the third-highest increase in unemployment in the country during the recession. Some 51,800 jobs were lost between October 2008 and October 2009, representing 2.2 per cent of B.C.’s total jobs. Unemployment increased over this period to 8.3 per cent from 5.2 per cent.

While the number of EI recipients rose sharply as unemployment grew, with nine B.C. urban communities experiencing an increase of 115 per cent or more in the number of EI recipients, coverage remained low, rising to 48.2 per cent in October 2009. In other words, more than half of B.C.’s unemployed were not receiving benefits, despite the fact that the province’s economy was one of the most devastated by the recession.

Citizens for Public Justice, along with Canada Without Poverty, has been leading a campaign called Dignity for All – a national call to end poverty in Canada.

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