While the Sask. Party spins, Saskatchewan unemployment continues to rise

Close to 10,000 more people in Saskatchewan were out of work and looking for a job last month than were a year ago. Statistics Canada and the Saskatchewan Labour Force Survey released their latest numbers today and it is clear that the Sask. Party’s continued mismanagement of the economy is costing working people their jobs.

“The Sask. Party has spent the summer trying to cover up for their scandals, oil spills, and cuts to everything from healthcare to supports for people with disabilities,” said NDP Jobs Training and Skills Critic Warren McCall. “But, across the province, working families have been struggling to get by and are facing the growing reality of losing their jobs.”
 
According to the reports, over 3,000 education jobs were cut in the last 12 months. The numbers also show that, despite the Sask. Party’s attempts to justify it, their billion-dollar bypass boondoggle is not creating jobs in Saskatchewan. While the Sask. Party has handed the majority of contracts to foreign and out of province contractors, 4,400 Saskatchewan construction jobs have been lost since last year.
 
“From education to construction workers, more and more Saskatchewan people are looking for work. When you see 7,100 private sector jobs disappear in a year, it’s clear that the government needs to do something, but the Sask. Party continues to mismanage and cut deeper,” said McCall. “Instead of working to diversify the economy and invest in jobs and skills training, the Sask. Party slashed funding.”
 
While the much higher Aboriginal unemployment rate continues to rise, the Sask. Party has also cut or effectively shut down programs that provided employability-skills and industry-related instruction to First Nation and Métis youth.
 
“Through these programs, youth were developing the skills they need to gain employment, to become entrepreneurs, and to help stimulate and diversify our economy,” said McCall. "In my own community, an organization running important programs like these has been told to ‘wrap up programming and notify staff.’ These cuts are backwards and they hurt our economy, our families, and our communities.”
 
Other troubling realities revealed in today’s job numbers include:
- Fist Nations unemployment sits at 23.8 per cent and is even higher on reserve;
- 3,900 jobs lost in Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Leasing since last year; and
- 1,500 manufacturing jobs were lost year over year.