Review of 2009

2009 was a very interesting year indeed.

 At the beginning of the year, there was still a ‘hunt for talent’ and recruitment was fast and furious for most organizations; however, as the year wore on, it became evident that we were in for some turbulent economic times.

 These changes had a significant impact on Human Resources at every level.

Many businesses were putting a freeze on hiring.  In some cases, there were a number of employees laid off. Existing employees had to do more with less…and unfortunately… there were also those that had to ultimately close their doors.

Canada is very much influenced by what happens in the United States and in the last quarter of 2009, we heard daily news reports of what was taking place in their economic climate – and it wasn’t good news.

While the Canadian Business report stated that BC weathered the worst of the impact, they were not left entirely unscathed. The forest industry was hit hard. Pulp mills shut down all around the province; call centres that employed hundreds announced the closing of their doors; manufacturing plants were also downsizing due to the increase in the Canadian dollar, making their businesses less profitable.

The recession cut a wide swath across the country, said Kirk LaPointe, managing editor at the Vancouver Sun, and “almost every Canadian was struck by job loss, wealth diminution or the prospect of uncertainty…”Canada — particularly British Columbia — is seen around the world as having weathered less of an impact from the recession, and it holds promise of allowing us to emerge more quickly from the downturn.”

While this may have been a difficult year (and I personally don’t think we’re out of the woods yet); there are also some good news stories. People are becoming much more self-reliant and forming their own small businesses. I think we will continue to see a rise in small business; and in fact, small businesses with fewer than 50 employees currently represent 97.8% of the total business establishments in Canada. In view of this statistic, I believe 2010 and beyond may prove to restore faith in ourselves and our abilities.

In closing, here is a quote from Premier Gordon Campbell: Though 2009 was a tough year, we should all remember what can happen when we follow that time-honoured B.C. tradition of rolling up our sleeves and getting to work.”


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