The June job numbers released by Statistics Canada today show Saskatchewan was the only province outside of the Atlantic with fewer people working and more people looking for work than a year earlier and, when the numbers are adjusted to take into account changing seasonal demands, Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate is now the second highest.
“The Sask. Party’s arrogance does not reflect the reality for Saskatchewan families. The hard-working people of the province did not create this mess but, while the Sask. Party spin the numbers and pat themselves on the back, it’s Saskatchewan people who are paying the price,” said NDP Jobs Critic Trent Wotherspoon. “It’s clear to everyone else that Saskatchewan people need a government to step up for them and help them get back to work. Instead, the Sask. Party are worrying about themselves, making things worse for working people with callous cuts, unfair tax hikes and their desperate sell-offs, and announcing that they’ll be throwing even more people out of work.”
There is some good news with full-time employment on the rise but 3,500 fewer young people have found work this year than last and First Nations unemployment continues to sit at close to 20 per cent – with the on-reserve numbers being much worse.
“When faced with the fact, serious flags should be raised and the government should be taking quick action to do better for all of us,” said Wotherspoon.
The June job numbers add to concerns raised by employment insurance statistics released last month. For the last three months, while the number of people in other provinces who rely on Employment Insurance was going down, the number of Saskatchewan workers who were depending on the program increased. In fact, in April – following the first wave of impacts of the Sask. Party’s budget - the jump in the number of Saskatchewan workers forced onto EI was the second highest in all of Canada. Meanwhile, for six straight months, fewer and fewer people in Alberta have been relying on EI.
“The Sask. Party love to brag when times are good but, when times are tough they’re quick to make excuses and point the finger,” said Wotherspoon, noting that over 5000 fewer Saskatchewan people had found work in Agriculture this year and almost 3000 fewer in the industry that includes oil and gas. “They blew it all during our provinces best times and now, when workers in core Saskatchewan industries are struggling, all the Sask. Party is offering are job killing cuts and tax hikes.”
Some other sectors with noteworthy job losses:
- 4,300 fewer Saskatchewan people were self-employed since last year - 1,400 fewer since last month
- 1,100 jobs lost in education since last year with more government cuts still expected
- 1,000 jobs lost in just the last month in Healthcare and Social services
- 2,100 jobs lost in real estate since last year