8,500 more people unemployed in Saskatchewan

Statistics Canada numbers point to lack of economic diversity

There were 8,500 more unemployed adults in Saskatchewan in May compared to one year ago, as the number of jobs in the province failed to keep up with demand.

That’s the news from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey on Friday, which shows that Saskatchewan is moving in the wrong direction when it comes to economic diversity. There were major job losses in key sectors, including 5,200 jobs lost in manufacturing, 3,200 jobs lost in professional, scientific and technical services and 2,800 jobs lost in trade.

Overall, the private sector lost jobs while the public sector added jobs.

“There are more people looking for work in our province than there are jobs being created,” said Opposition Deputy Leader Trent Wotherspoon.

“Sectors like manufacturing and trade are key to bringing stability to the economy. But, this government has a weak and lazy procurement policy that puts Saskatchewan manufacturers at a disadvantage. And, it pushes P3s at any cost, so we see massive infrastructure projects go almost exclusively to corporations outside Saskatchewan and even outside Canada.”

The temporary downturn in the price of oil is not driving the losses. The forestry, fishing, mining, oil and gas sector shed 1,000 jobs, compared to 5,200 jobs lost in manufacturing.

Wotherspoon said it’s not only about having a more stable economy – it’s also about building a province with more options and opportunities for young people.

“When young people are choosing their career paths, they may choose medical research, a career in tech or a career in film. New Democrats want them to have more of those options here in Saskatchewan.”

The unemployment rate tied the worst in the nation for a year-over-year increase. Unadjusted, it’s now 5.3 per cent, a 1.3 per cent rise from a year ago.