I’ve been very concerned about the state of the economy in recent months. Regular readers will know that I am in the employment business. I find jobs for people who have disabilities. Economists tell us that improvement in employment statistics (or unemployment statistics depending on which side of the fence you sit on) is the last thing you notice.

I wasn’t in a bragging mood last December or January. In fact, my funders were beginning to believe that I was doing unmentionable things to the dog. The bottom line: No jobs: No money for me.

February was a different story. February made up for the shortfall. More people were being hired, and the wages, for the most part, were almost living wages. (That was recently calculated for the metro Vancouver area to be $18 and change per hour.)

That was the first sign of the economic turnabout. People were getting jobs in spite of my efforts.

The second sign was that through March and April I was fielding calls from would-be employers seeking out my clients. They knew about me because of the work I was doing with the Vancouver and Burnaby Boards of Trade, the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce, and a community economic development program in the downtown East Side of Vancouver (Canada’s poorest postal code)

I was even getting tips from participants in my fitness class.

My final indication was from the Vancouver Police Department. The other day, I took a woman into the Vancouver Police station to get a criminal record check for employment. This usually takes less than 30 minutes. In this case, it would have taken all day. There were thirty people waiting in line for the same thing. Employers often want to do a background check on their new hires.

Is this a sign the recession is over?

Mike Broderick is an Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he finds employment for people with physical disabilities. Part of this work means affiliation with the Vancouver Board of Trade where he is a member of the Ambassador Club, the Burnaby Board of Trade where he is a member of the Labour Task Force, the Tri Cities Chamber of Commerce where he is an active member of the 10X10 initiative, and the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce. He does some work as a field Archaeologist and is a  fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to alive magazine in Port Coquitlam. You can reach him at home at   or at

If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates

When he is not doing all this he lives in Port Coquitlam with his partner Cecelia.



  1. Joanie Says:

    Mike, in Minnesota, the unemployment rate is at 10%. My counselor said that won’t improve until 2011. But, my writing clips are on the upside.

    • mikebroderick Says:

      The funny thing about the economy, the labour market, and the weather. In these days of global warming and runaway oil and volcanic gusners, the only certainty is uncertainty. You have to take every optimistic note for whatever few seconds it may be worth. Stress the word ‘MAY.” Happy Mother’s Day.

  2. JODY Says:

    I think I am a handicapped writer, can’t spell, creative punctuation and I definitely haven’t had a job as a writer. Could you find me a job? I can pass the criminal check…if you don’t go back too far.

  3. JODY Says:

    Now I’m repeating myself!

  4. energywriter Says:

    Good news for you and all of us. $18/hr!! I’m moving to Vancouver. Then you can get me a job.

    Why take your client to the police station? I just sign and paper giving permission and the hiring company does the research.

  5. Mike Broderick Says:

    That doesn’t work in the Canadian system. A candidate has to pay $60 to go to the police station to get them to do a C-PIC computer run, and it needs one’s written consent plus the person themselves – just in case they have to clap him in irons.

    It gets worse. Here they have an option to search not only for a criminal record (i.e. an actual appearance in fron of a judge, and an actual conviction), but also they can report any contact that person may have had with the police regardless of whether a charge was filed or not.

    That’s a Civil Liberties issue that should be the topic of another posting.

    Welcome to Canada, Put your hands behind your bacb and assume the position

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