The New World
Turbulence marked the new millennium.
As the last hours counted down to the year 2000, the fear of the Y2K computer bug threatened to wreck world order into cyber chaos.
By mid-March of that year, the dot.com bubble burst, sending the stock market into freefall.
One year later, the September 11th tragedy ushered in a new reality of uncertainty and insecurity.
Then in 2008 the world experienced another financial crisis. The U.S. economy dragged under the Great Recession.
The fist decade of the new millennium was a lost decade for so many families. They suffered huge losses in home values, savings, retirement accounts, and worst of all their employment. A massive number of people went into bankruptcy and foreclosure. Millions gave up hope looking for work.
While these turbulent times may have been more pronounced in the U.S. than in Canada, average Canadians were not immune to the impact of declining markets and a less certain future.
Although the U.S. economy is now recovering, the aftermath carries on.
Today, there are 76 million Baby Boomers, people born between 1946 to 1964. Everyday, 10,000 of them turn 65. Many of them were hit hard by the financial crisis. Many more struggle to survive because they did not prepare for retirement.
Generation X, born between 1965 to 1980, are middle-aged adults. They are worried about keeping their jobs and paying growing bills. Many of them are sandwiched between the burden of taking care of their own family and helping their parents.
Millennials, those born after 1980, are facing even bigger hurdles with the new economy. As the labor market becomes global, companies are increasingly sending their operations overseas where labor costs are lower. In addition, more jobs are being replaced due to advances in software and automation. Technology and smart machines change so fast that workers’ skills may not be able to keep pace*.
Many people will be left behind or will have to settle for lower skilled jobs and temporary employment.