Sean Kilby sits on the tailgate of his pickup truck thumbing through his cellphone as he waits for work on a downtown Calgary street corner. Behind him, nail guns, compressors and other tools are piled on top of each other in the bed of his truck.
For much of the past eight years, Kilby has paid the bills installing siding as a subcontractor, but construction work has dried up in a sluggish economy. The slowdown has forced him onto cash corner, a stretch of curb on Centre Street South, where day labourers pick up casual work in exchange for cash.
A day earlier, he and a few other guys made $100 each helping somebody move, which was enough to buy milk for his one-year-old son and put gas in his truck. He’ll need more jobs like it to keep his baby in daycare and stay on top of his bills.
But just as things are elsewhere in Calgary’s recession-riddled job market, business on cash corner is slow.
Men who lined the sidewalk one recent morning said there was a time when they could earn a decent living from the odd jobs they landed while standing on the concrete slabs. Now, workers find their options dwindling in a sagging economy as Alberta copes with the highest unemployment rate west of Atlantic Canada: 7.9 per cent in June, well above the national rate of 6.8 per cent.
I was called many unnecessary names and accused of much for simply saying this would happen. Now it has.
Its going to get a whole lot worse.
A big thank you to the 112 readers that logged in yesterday. I'm still extremely busy at NWR as the current project caps out. Next post after http://www.ereb.com/REALTORSAssociationOfEdmonton.html adjusts for what ever reason Julys stats.