The news of recession and job losses is all over the world and there would be very few countries not affected by one of the worst unemployment rates ever seen by the Generation Xers and the Millennials. The global economy is intertwined and a large shake-up at one end of the globe transfers the impact throughout the world.
Here is a compilation of news from around the world on what is happening from Asia to Europe and the Americas as the world rides the recession and severe job cuts wave.
US indeed triggered the world economic downturn but being the largest economy as it is this was very much predicted and expected.
According to an article in Yahoo News:
The U.S. Labour Department said earlier this month (April 2009) that companies cut a net total of 663,000 jobs in March, sending the unemployment rate up to 8.5 per cent, the highest in 25 years.
The Federal Reserve expects the unemployment rate will probably “rise more steeply into early next year before flattening out at a high level over the rest of the year,” according to minutes from the central bank’s March meeting released this month. Many private economists expect the rate to hit 10 per cent by year’s end.
Finding a new job is increasingly difficult for those who have been laid off. Typically, hiring doesn’t pick up until well after an economic recovery is under way.
Canada (Source: Stockhouse )
OTTAWA – Jobs are disappearing in Canada at a rate not seen since the deep recession of the early 1980s, new figures show.
Statistics Canada reported Thursday that Canada lost another 61,300 jobs in March 2009, taking the unemployment rate up three-tenths of a point to eight per cent for the first time in seven years.
Since the peak in October, employment has fallen each month for a total of 357,000 jobs lost, representing 2.1 per cent of the workforce. That’s a pace of contraction greater than at any time during the 1991 recession and equaling that of the more severe 1982 slump.
Sky News reports:
Just eight months ago when oil prices were at a record high, it seemed to many Russians the good times would last forever.
But the economy – once one of the fastest growing in the world – is now hurtling into recession.
The problems the country faces are enormous, partly because it failed to diversify in the boom times.
Its dependence on receipts from the export of oil and gas has given rise to a hugely unbalanced economy.
According to Javno:
Some 1.8 million Russians lost their jobs in the first three months of 2009, taking the jobless rate to an 8 year-high, data showed on Monday in a sign that it may be too soon to talk about the bottoming of the crisis.
Officials had been saying that the worst of the crisis may be over for Russia, taking heart from higher global oil prices, a stabilisation of the rouble and a recovery in domestic stocks.
But with retail sales, real wages and capital investment all falling sharper than expected in March, the data suggests that Russia’s first economic contraction in a decade is still very much in full swing. “We see this data as an indication that … the decline is starting to spread to consumer demand and it will continue to pressure the economy over the next several quarters at least,” said Vladimir Osakovsky, analyst at Unicredit.India
There are numerous multinational companies in India and the layoffs in the large organizations affect all such countries. The layoffs are worldwide and every nation feels the reverberations of a large shakeup anywhere in the world.
(Source: The National )
A US-style wave of layoffs has not hit India, but the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry estimates that Indian businesses could lay off nearly 25 per cent of their workforce this year across such areas as information technology, real estate, construction, aviation and financial services. Close to 40 million middle-class workers are employed by these sectors.
Unlike in the West, there is no system of social security, or unemployment insurance, in India, and most workers who are laid off are on their own.
China (Source: CNN.com )
Job losses triggered by the global financial crisis have driven some 20 million Chinese workers from cities back to their rural homelands, according to China’s state-run Xinhua news agency.
Migrant workers arrive at Beijing’s West Railway Station on Monday, despite growing unemployment.
Quoting a senior official and a survey by the Ministry of Agriculture, Xinhua said about 15.3 percent of the 130 million workers who migrated to metropolitan areas in years past have returned to the countryside.
China Daily reports on the path of recovery for China:
Bob Hawke, former prime minister of Australia, forecast China’s GDP growth between 7 percent to 8 percent. In the meantime, he believed a reversal had come.
“The four-trillion-yuan stimulus (package) is now beginning to work, and China’s economy … has reached the bottom and started to come up now,” Hawke told Xinhua at the forum.
Increasing stress of sluggish exports, dampened employment and shrinking corporate profits have pulled down the Chinese economy to a growth of 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter last year.
Huffington Post reports :
The (Japanese) government is now considering earmarking public money for companies that take up work-sharing to curb surging joblessness as the world’s second-largest economy slides into what authorities are calling Japan’s worst recession since World War II.
Companies big and small are expecting losses or drastically dwindling profits. Thousands of job cuts have been announced in recent weeks.
Many Japanese companies are adopting “work-sharing” to ride out the global slump.
According to a report in May 2009, the European Union admitted that its previous forecasts were way off the mark. It now predicts “A deep and widespread recession” across the continent and says unemployment among nations using the euro currency will rise to a postwar record of 11.5 percent in 2010. The new forecasts expect the economies of the 27-nation EU and the 16-nation euro zone to shrink by 4 percent this year – more than double the January estimate.
The European Commission said more than 26 million people in the EU will be out of work next year as a contracting economy sheds an extra 8.5 million jobs.
According to The Guardian
Mainland Europe is bracing itself for thousands more job cuts as Philips warned of further restructuring to staunch mounting losses and the German arm of Woolworths filed for bankruptcy.
In Switzerland the country’s biggest bank, UBS, is reportedly planning to axe up to 10,000 more jobs as early as next week (April 2009) as it struggles to regain profitability – and credibility.
(Source: SKY News )
In February 45,657, 7.3% of the city’s potential workforce, claimed JSA – compared to 12,383 the same time last year.
The number of unemployed people also rose significantly in Leeds, Glasgow, Sheffield, Hull, Manchester, Bradford, Kirklees, Liverpool and Bristol.
The New York Times reports of large unemployment surges in Germany.
Because of the nature of the world economic crisis, rising unemployment in Germany is largely bypassing the poor areas of the east and striking at the heart of the country’s wealthy industrial areas in the western and southern regions.
The German automaker Daimler, which has placed some 70,000 workers on short-hour status, said recently that it could no longer rule out job cuts.
Spain had some interesting headlines in relation to layoffs and recession “Pain in Spain” and “The Fiesta is over in recession-stricken Spain”
MSN MoneyCentral reports :
Almeria Province, a bone-dry patch of coastal southeast Spain, was once the setting for spaghetti westerns such as “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” Later it became a place to make fortunes building sun-drenched vacation homes and golf courses. High-tech greenhouses sprang up, offering Europe a year-round target of fruit and vegetables.
Now, two years after the real estate bubble burst, the province is one of the gushing wounds in Spain’s recession-plagued economy.
Almeria’s unemployment rate of 25 percent is one of Spain’s highest, and makes the nationwide figure of 13.9 percent — already the highest in the European Union — seem mild.As the global meltdown worsens, it offers a glimpse of where Spain may be heading. The government says unemployment nationally will reach 16 percent this year, and some forecasters say it may approach 20 percent.
The African Continent
The Herald of Zimbabwe reports:
Africa is facing difficult times. The effects of the global economic recession and climate change have already begun to reverse the progress the continent has made over the last decade.
Many countries are experiencing reduced trade and economic activity, withdrawal of investors and an acute scarcity of credit. Projects are being postponed or cancelled altogether. Financial inflows are dropping, including levels of international assistance and remittances.
The result is that the ability of African countries to support basic services, tackle their developmental challenges and achieve the Millennium Development Goals is being heavily impaired. The human, social and political consequences could be enormous.
Africa now needs urgent support to maintain economic activity and protect the vulnerable from the crisis. But while trillions of dollars are being found, at short notice, for stimulus plans and bail outs in the richer countries, the least developed countries find themselves lacking access to credit and faced with lending policies and practices that minimise their chances of receiving loans.
The evidence is that Africa is hit twice. Not only are poorer countries going to be most affected by the global crisis, but the very way in which the developed world has responded to the crisis continues to worsen their situation by encouraging capital to flee to perceived safety. Lacking the means to argue their case at the top tables in the global economic and financial architecture, Africa’s countries are left to face the very real danger of malignant decoupling, derailment and abandonment.Australia
Much better placed than other countries, it was made official in April 2009, that the Australian economy is in recession.
According to BBC report:
The economy shrank by 0.5% in the last three months of 2008.
This decline – revealed last month – was the first time the economy had seen a quarterly contraction in eight years.
If data shows the economy shrank between January and March, then Australia will be in recession according to the usual definition of two consecutive quarters of falling output.
The Australian economy is now likely to be in recession, the head of the country’s central bank has admitted.
Despite the warning, he insisted that Australia was well placed to weather the global recession, thanks to its close proximity and trading ties to “dynamic” Asian markets, specifically China.
“Australia’s genuine long-term economic prospects remain good,” he said.