Jobs numbers show part-time jobs instead of full-time careers

Instead of creating good, mortgage-paying jobs, Saskatchewan’s jobs market has been lagging and leaning towards part-time employment.

According to new data from Statistics Canada, released Friday, for 18,700 more people in the jobs market, only 2,600 full-time jobs have been created. 4,700 part-time jobs have been added.

That means 65 per cent of all new jobs are part-time, and the unemployment rate has climbed to 5 per cent compared to 3.2 per cent one year ago. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, the unemployment rate is 5.5 per cent. Compared to one year ago, 11,400 more people are unemployed and actively looking for work.

“During the resource boom, the Sask. Party really sat back and rode the wave rather than working to diversify the economy and foster growth in a wide range of sectors,” said NDP deputy leader Trent Wotherspoon.

“In fact, the only real effort of government appears to be in pumping out news releases and putting a positive spin on the jobs numbers, even when those numbers are starting to be a real cause for concern. The cost of living is way up, and jobs and salaries aren’t – that makes it harder for families to get ahead, and we should be taking that seriously.”

Sectors that lost jobs over the last year include public administration (3,400 jobs lost); education (2,000 jobs lost); forestry, fishing, mining, oil and gas (1,800 jobs lost); manufacturing (1,400 jobs lost); construction (1,200 jobs lost); transportation and warehousing (700 jobs lost); professional, scientific and technical services (500 jobs lost); business, building and other support services (400 jobs lost); and finance, insurance and real estate industry (200 jobs lost).

Of particular concern is a trend in off-reserve First Nations unemployment, which has been back on the rise over the last year. While the number of people working or actively looking for work hasn’t changed significantly, the unemployment rate has risen to over 20 per cent from 13.9 per cent just a year ago.