Full-time work lost, unemployment up after Sask. Party inaction

During the resource boom, the Sask. Party sat back and rode the wave – and as a result, Saskatchewan people are facing higher unemployment and fewer full-time jobs while the cost of living is rising.

Statistics Canada reported Friday that Saskatchewan had lost 2,700 full-time jobs, replacing them with 3,300 part-time jobs, compared to a year earlier.

The unemployment rate in the province rose to 4.9 per cent, two per cent higher than a year ago. Adjusted for seasonality, that unemployment rate is now 5.6 per cent.

“The trend of trading good, mortgage-paying full-time jobs with part-time jobs isn’t a good one for Saskatchewan’s economy, or for middle class families,” said NDP deputy leader Trent Wotherspoon. “The Sask. Party has been ignoring a huge opportunity to promote and develop industries like manufacturing, technology and entrepreneurship.

“Instead, they’ve spent a lot of time and taxpayer money on pet projects that just don’t match the priorities of Saskatchewan families, and take more dollars out of our pockets. The smart meter fiasco and the carbon capture boondoggle are piling costs onto our power bills. The P3 rental-infrastructure schemes are costing a lot more, and sending jobs and billions of dollars in contracts to corporations from France, the United Kingdom and Milwaukee. How on earth does that help working families, or the tax base in Saskatchewan?”

Wotherspoon noted that average weekly earnings in Saskatchewan dropped by more than $11 in August.

“Seeing average weekly earnings in Saskatchewan fall, full-time jobs swapped for part-time work, all while the cost of living is rising – that should cause any government to worry about whether or not families are able to get ahead,” he said.

“This government just doesn’t get it. When households are finding it a bit harder at the end of the month, that has real consequences for families, and for our economy.”

Industries that lost jobs over the past 12 months were agriculture (2,800 jobs lost); public administration (2,600 jobs lost); education (2,200 jobs lost); construction (1,900 jobs lost), manufacturing (1,800 jobs lost); forestry, mining, oil and gas (1,600 jobs lost); finance, real estate and insurance (900 jobs lost).

Saskatchewan has now fallen behind Manitoba, which has a better unemployment rate on an adjusted basis at 5.3 per cent.