Wednesday, November 26, 2008

More economic and labour news

The doomsaying continues:

The global financial crisis could increase jobless numbers in OECD countries by eight million people, hit Canada with a recession and boost the country's unemployment rate to 7.5 per cent, according to a report.

The latest Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development outlook said Tuesday the world is entering the worst economic downturn in decades.

"We project that 21 out of 30 member economies of the OECD will go through a protracted recession of a magnitude which has not been seen since the early 1980s," said Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel, the OECD chief economist.

The gloomy outlook predicts Canada's economy will shrink in the fourth quarter by 1.6 per cent and in the first and second quarters of 2009 by 1.4 per cent first and 0.3 per cent respectively, meaning the country will be in recession.

From the CBC. The OECD thinks, however, that other countries will have a harder time of it. The situation in the UK, for example, is not looking good:

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has warned of a "severe" economic downturn in the UK in 2009.

The Paris-based body has predicted that economic output in the UK will fall by 1.1% next year, more than any other major G7 country.

Unemployment in the UK is predicted to rise significantly to over 8% by end of 2009 from 5.5% in 2008.

Mr. Brown certainly has his work cut out for him; here's hoping his bold moves help. On the other hand, it looks like the "lucky country" may continue to be lucky for a while:
Australia will avoid a recession next year, one of only a handful of developed countries whose economy will continue to grow, a leading global think tank says.

As financial markets wrestle with the meaning of the latest last-ditch US bail-out - a $500 billion prop for the ailing banking giant Citigroup - the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development predicts the richest economies in the world will shrink by a collective 0.4 per cent next year.

"Many OECD economies are in or are on the verge of a protracted recession of a magnitude not experienced since the early 1980s," the chief economist, Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel, said.

"As a result, the number of unemployed in the OECD area could rise by 8 million over the next two years."

Australia's economy is likely to grow by a relatively healthy 1.7 per cent.

Meanwhile, a Wayne Simpson, an economist at the U of M, is being interviewed on CBC Radio as I write this. He thinks Manitoba is better poised than just about anywhere in the world to weather the downturn, because we have a fairly diversified economy that doesn't have big boom and bust cycles. He thinks we may be in for a mild recession (particularly the resource sector of our economy; have you checked commodity prices lately?) but nothing compared to most of the developed world. Of course, any or all of these claims may turn out to be nonsense; it is, after all, economists who are making the predictions.

On another note, some of you may know that CUPE 3903, at York University, is on strike. Unfortunately, the domain name they wanted to use is being held by a cybersquatter, and they need the hits to go to the right place, obviously. So here's my shout out to them. Facebook users can also show their support here. Apparently they want to link the phrase "York University Strike Information" to their site, so here it is.

No comments: