Full-time job losses leave Saskatchewan trailing rest of Canada

Saskatchewan one of only two provinces to end 2017 with fewer jobs than the year before

According to numbers released today, at the end of 2017, Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate was, once again, well above the national average. In fact, while the rest of Canada saw significant job growth from December 2016 to December 2017, Saskatchewan lost 3,400 full-time, mortgage-paying jobs and joined Newfoundland and Labrador as the only two provinces to see job losses.

“In almost every other province in the country jobs are being created and people are getting back to work. But, here in Saskatchewan, the Sask. Party’s mismanagement of our economy, their heartless cuts to the services we all rely on, and their unfair billion-dollar tax hikes have left hard-working people searching for jobs and families unable to make ends meet,” said Saskatchewan NDP Jobs Critic Vicki Mowat. “The Sask. Party keep talking about 2007 but the 2017 numbers couldn’t be clearer; the Sask. Party is failing to create jobs and they’re failing Saskatchewan people.”

In the West, while Saskatchewan lost 700 jobs year-over-year, 11,800 jobs were created in Manitoba and Alberta and BC created nearly 55,000 and 74,000 jobs respectively.

At the same time, 4,300 fewer Saskatchewan young people (15-24) were able to find work and the First Nations unemployment rate jumped to an unacceptable 21.8 per cent.

“Other provincial governments are finding ways to help get people back to work but the Sask. Party is ignoring reality and living in the past,” Mowat said. “Whether you look at our neighbours in the West or across the entire country, there’s no excuse for the Sask. Party’s failure to support job creation and there’s no way to justify their arrogance when it comes to their mismanagement of the economy.”

Noting the ongoing discussion about the need for the newly-formed Nutrien potash company’s corporate office to be in Saskatoon, Mowat pointed out that while Calgary’s unemployment rate had dropped by 2.8 per cent year-over-year, Saskatoon’s had actually gone up.

“We need the Sask. Party to do more than be ‘cautiously optimistic’ about where this head office will end up,” said Mowat. “We need them to fight for our province and keep these jobs in Saskatoon.”