At 6.8 per cent, Saskatchewan continues to have the second highest unemployment rate in the country, outside of Atlantic Canada. Also troubling are the steep job losses in sectors such as construction and real estate which are important sectors when considering possible growth in jobs and the economy. Combined, they alone saw 11,000 jobs lost in just the last year. Saskatchewan’s resource sector also lost 2,000 jobs.
This week, the full failure of the Sask. Party’s approach to supporting Saskatchewan’s resource sector was laid bare,” said NDP Jobs Critic Warren McCall. “We saw the Prime Minister credit the Alberta government’s collaborative and constructive approach with the approval of two pipelines that will pump more Alberta oil and we saw Brad Wall continue to be unsuccessful in getting a single pipeline to carry Saskatchewan oil to tidewater while doubling down on his twitter-tantrums and grandstanding.”
During the same month that the Sask. Party announced their mismanagement, scandal, and waste had led to another billion-dollar deficit and deeper cuts, 2,100 more Saskatchewan people found themselves looking for work across the province.
“While more and more Saskatchewan people are finding themselves looking for work, the Sask. Party is continuing with its arrogant tone, refusal to diversify the economy, and deep deep cuts,” said McCall. “In fact, from our post-secondary institutions to programs like NORTEP and NORPAC and even the Gradworks Intern program, the Sask. Party are cutting deeper – even eliminating – the very programs that would help get Saskatchewan people back to work.”
Just last week, the Sask. Party voted in favour of an NDP motion to support the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s findings and yet, they have still taken no action to address First Nations unemployment which sits at close to 20% off reserve and is much worse on reserve.
“The Sask. Party's double speak on issue after issue is hurting Saskatchewan and, when it comes to First Nation’s unemployment, the contrast is as troubling as it is stark,” said McCall.
Finally, the Sask. Party’s cuts to health care and serving Saskatchewan’s most vulnerable were evident in the numbers, as 2,400 jobs were lost in health care and social assistance.
Other sectors with noteworthy job losses in the last year include:
Self-employed: 5,500 jobs lost
Agriculture: 3,200 jobs lost