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Pattie Lovett-Reid

Chief Financial Commentator, CTV


The latest Canadian jobs report is just hard to take.  The numbers force us to realize the devastation of the health crisis that has become a financial crisis for so many families.

No sector was left untarnished with nearly 2 million jobs lost in April, with an additional  1.1 million people who wanted to work but stopped looking for jobs as businesses shuttered, according to Statistics Canada.  

Governments have stepped in with financial aid, and central banks have done their part to prevent a medical crisis from turning into a full-blown financial crisis. However, the pandemic has become a financial crisis for so many families who have to pay bills, taken on debt, that will take years and for decades to recover from and in many ways through no fault of their own. 

Many individuals are now forced to think about how they’re going to have reinvent themselves. From sales, service, travel, aerospace to energy and supply chains that support them, thousands of jobs are likely going to be gone forever. 

It may be difficult for some impacted by the coronavirus to rationalize some of the choices being forced upon them. There is, of course, an understanding that we have to beat this virus. But the deep worry and anxiety mounting around household debt grows as the lockdown continues. 

Many business owners large and small are wary and coming to the conclusion they have to shut their doors forever. The debt level too heavy to carry and they are left with no alternative. 

Families are faced with similar mounting debt concerns. Unsurprisingly, the consumer is going to be cautious. We have learned a tough lesson as we decide what is a need and what is a want. How we spend our money has likely changed forever.

The fact is the consumer has propped up the economy and done their part over the past decade to keep things going. They have done their heavy lifting and are now looking to pass the baton.

The question is who do we pass the baton to?