What is a Recession and How Will it Impact Canadians?

A recession is an economic downturn that lasts for at least two consecutive quarters. It occurs when there is a decrease in real GDP growth and an increase in unemployment. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, economists are already predicting that Canada could experience a recession in 2020. If a recession does hit, it will have far-reaching implications for Canadians. Let’s take a look at what this could mean for you and your family.

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What is a Recession?

A recession is a period of economic decline that is characterized by a decline in the gross domestic product (GDP) for two or more consecutive quarters. In other words, it is a period of time when the economy is shrinking and businesses and individuals are struggling to make ends meet.

A recession can be caused by a variety of factors, including a slowdown in consumer spending, a decline in business investment, or a decrease in exports. In the case of the current economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a decline in consumer spending and business investment has been a major contributor to the recession.

When an economy enters into a recession, it can have a significant impact on individuals and businesses. For businesses, a recession can mean a decline in sales, which can lead to layoffs and closures. For individuals, a recession can mean a loss of jobs, a decline in wages, and a decrease in the value of assets such as homes and investments.

Impact on the Job Market

One of the most significant impacts of a recession is on the job market. When the economy is in a recession, businesses are less likely to hire new employees, and many may even lay off current employees. As a result, the unemployment rate tends to increase during a recession. This can be a significant concern for those who are already unemployed, as well as those who are at risk of losing their jobs.

Another impact of a recession is on wages. When the economy is in a recession, businesses may be less likely to give their employees raises, and some may even cut wages. This can make it harder for individuals to make ends meet, especially if they are already struggling to pay their bills.

Impact on Real Estate

A recession can also have a significant impact on the housing market. When the economy is in a recession, the value of homes tends to decline. This can be a concern for those who are thinking about buying a home, as well as those who already own one. For those who are thinking about buying a home, a decline in home values can make it harder to afford a home, and for those who already own a home, a decline in home values can mean a loss of equity.

In addition to the impact on the job market, wages, and the housing market, a recession can also affect investments and savings. During a recession, stock prices tend to decline, and this can lead to a loss of value for investments and savings. This can be a concern for those who are nearing retirement and are relying on their investments and savings to support them in their golden years.

Impact on the Economy 

While the impact of a recession on an individual can be significant, it is important to keep in mind that the government and central bank may take actions to mitigate the effects of the recession. For example, the government may implement stimulus measures, such as increased spending on infrastructure projects, to help boost the economy. In addition, the central bank may lower interest rates to encourage borrowing and spending.

Overall, a recession can have a significant impact on the economy and on individuals. It can lead to job losses, a decline in wages, a decrease in the value of homes and investments, and can make it harder for individuals to make ends meet. However, it is important to keep in mind that the government and central bank may take actions to mitigate the effects of the recession and help to boost the economy.

In Canada, the government has announced a series of measures to support individuals and businesses affected by the recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), which provided financial support to those who lost their income due to the pandemic, and the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) which provided interest-free loans to small businesses. These measures were aimed to provide temporary relief

The Effects of a Recession on Your Finances

A recession means that fewer people are spending money, which can lead to job losses and wage cuts. This can have disastrous results for Canadians’ finances, as many may not be able to pay their bills or cover their regular expenses. It’s important to create an emergency fund if you don’t already have one so that you can weather any economic storm that comes your way.
It is also important to consider how you should manage your investments during this time. The stock market often experiences sharp drops during recessions, so it’s important to make sure your investments are diversified and not overly concentrated in any one sector or company. While it may be tempting to try and time the market by selling stocks prior to a recession, it is generally better to stay invested over the long term as markets tend to recover eventually.

The Effects of a Recession on Your Career Prospects

Another major impact of recessions is increased unemployment rates as companies lay off employees or go out of business altogether due to decreased demand for goods or services. This means that competition for jobs increases significantly, making it more difficult for those looking for work to find it. However, the silver lining here is that employers often become more open-minded when hiring during recessions since they know they will have more competition from prospective job seekers than usual – meaning now might be the perfect time to apply for positions outside of your comfort zone! Additionally, if you happen to lose your job during this time period, remember that unemployment insurance benefits exist in order to help provide financial support while you look for new opportunities.

Recessions can have far-reaching economic impacts on individuals, businesses, and countries alike – but they don’t have to spell doom and gloom if people take precautions ahead of time like creating emergency funds and diversifying their investments appropriately. Additionally, while certain industries may suffer in times of economic trouble like these, others may actually thrive – so keep your eyes peeled for new opportunities out there even if things seem grim! By understanding what recessions are and how they can affect us all differently depending on our individual circumstances, we can all make sure we come out on top when things get tough economically!

Vik Palan

Vik Palan

Chief Editor - Ratestead.ca

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