I don't think it has been this difficult for many people find a job for a long time. Our local economy has been slow for months. The previous governing party chose to ignore the real issues at hand which caused a deepening crisis.
Quebec has a $4.7 Billion deficit. The proposed "Charter of Values" generated widespread controversy and overt racism towards non-Christians, particularly Muslims. Fortunately the new government scrapped it but the damage has been done. Large businesses such as Sears and Bombardier are laying off hundreds. Manufacturing plants are closing because they can't afford to upgrade their equipment. More than 28,000 people left the province last year because they couldn't get work here.
Our family is facing the situation where we might have to leave too. The company my husband worked for shut down in February and he hasn't been able to get work since. I have been unable to find work in my field despite trying for two years. Something has to change. If we can't find jobs here that match our skills, we'll be forced to look elsewhere, no matter how much we want to stay in the area where we grew up. I don't see a future in working at a coffee shop, which is one of the few jobs available these days.
It'll be a huge challenge no matter where we go. Jobs are scarce everywhere. Many companies are displaying ads with multiple requirements because they're looking for the "perfect" candidate so they don't have to spend money and time on training. I've heard stories of qualified applicants being turned down because they had children or they were of colour. How can anyone get a fair chance?
Still, if our 17 year old niece with one year of junior college and no experience whatsoever can get a job at a coffee shop, why can't I find anything? I've sent dozens of applications to companies from large offices all the way down to fast food restaurants. Very few have even had the courtesy to tell me they received the application (automated emails notwithstanding). It's starting to look like what my mother predicted 30 years ago, that highly educated people would end up scrubbing floors for a living because the system was so screwed up.