Statistics Canada: 4,000 jobs gone in health and education

Concerning job cuts in health care, social services and education have continued over the last month, now reaching 4,000 jobs lost over just one year in those sectors.

Friday’s monthly report on employment from Statistics Canada shows 2,200 jobs have been cut from the education sector and 1,800 jobs have been cut from health care and social services. The unemployment rate overall increased to 4.5 per cent, up from 3.9 per cent a year ago.

“The NDP has been very concerned about this government’s move to have fewer workers on the front lines of basic services – especially health care and education,” said NDP Deputy Leader and finance critic Trent Wotherspoon. “We’re hearing about terrible short-staffing in hospitals, and far too few professionals like educational assistants in schools throughout the province. Seeing Statistics Canada numbers show a declining trend is really a cause for concern.”

Wotherspoon said the government appears to be using the strong provincial economy to bolster pet projects like the government’s massive, multi-million dollar Lean experiment, while dropping the ball on the basics that Saskatchewan families count on.

“Especially in a growing province with a strong economy, it’s wrong to expect families to accept cuts in health care that lead to longer waits and more crowding in the system. It’s wrong to ask our kids to accept over-stuffed classrooms with more kids and a greater number of higher needs students – but fewer professionals there to give kids the attention and environment they deserve.

“An important government job – providing health care and education to everyone – is where the statistics and the experience of Saskatchewan families show there’s trouble.”

The 2014-15 provincial budget released in March calls for further cuts in health care and education throughout the year.

Other industries that lost workers last month, according to Statistics Canada, include agriculture (-500); trade (-2.600); and other services (-5,500). Regions that lost workers include Swift Current – Moose Jaw (-2,300) and Yorkton-Melville (-300).

- 30 -

For more information, contact:
Erin Morrison, NDP caucus