Stats released Friday morning show Sask. has lowest unemployment rate for 23rd straight month

Stats released Friday morning show Sask. has lowest unemployment rate for 23rd straight month

Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate was 4.7 per cent (seasonally adjusted) in August 2015, down from 5.2 per cent in July.

For 23 straight months, Saskatchewan has had the lowest unemployment rate among the provinces.  In August, the national unemployment rate was 7.0 per cent.

“Saskatchewan continues to lead the nation with the lowest unemployment rate in large part due to the private sector creating new jobs,” Immigration, Jobs, Skills and Training Minister Jeremy Harrison said.  “Small businesses in the province are more optimistic according to a recent poll by the Canadian Federation of Business (CFIB), they are creating jobs for Saskatchewan people, as well as creating growth that will help keep Saskatchewan strong.”

The CFIB Business Optimism Barometer for August was released last week.  It shows that optimism has rebounded in Saskatchewan, jumping more than seven points to 61.9 in August, the highest level since November 2014 and well ahead of the national index of 56.7.

Employment reached an all-time high in the month of August, with 578,700 people working, up 1,600 (0.3 per cent) when compared to last August, and up 4,000 (0.7 per cent) compared to July (seasonally adjusted).

Other highlights include:

  • Private sector employment was up 17,900 (up 5.5 per cent) from a year ago for the third consecutive month of year-over-year increases.
  • The number of people participating in the labour force (working and looking for work) reached an all-time high of 615,500.
  • Major year-over-year gains were reported for health care and social assistance up 7,300; accommodation and food services up 3,300; business, building and other support services up 3,200.
  • Off-reserve Aboriginal employment was up 1,700 (+3.9 per cent) for six consecutive months of year-over-year increases.
  • The youth unemployment rate was 10.0 per cent (seasonally adjusted), lowest among the provinces, and below the national rate of 13.1 per cent.

However, the opposition says it’s not as rosy as it would appear.

Saskatchewan lost 10,600 full-time jobs over the last year, with agriculture, resource development, construction and manufacturing among the sectors that experienced the biggest job losses. That’s according to the latest report from Statistics Canada, released Friday. It shows that Alberta added 46,300 full-time jobs and Manitoba added 7,100 full-time jobs over the same period that Saskatchewan saw a significant drop in full-time jobs.

“It’s concerning to see a significant drop in the number of good, mortgage-paying full-time jobs here in our province, especially during a period when our neighbouring provinces have added a lot of full-time jobs,” said NDP deputy leader and economy critic Trent Wotherspoon. “And what makes it especially disappointing is that the Sask. Party government has missed repeated opportunities to strengthen and diversify our economy. Instead, they’re continually handing government contracts to corporations from outside of Saskatchewan. We need a government that puts Saskatchewan workers first and takes the necessary steps to ensure our prosperity is sustainable.”

Wotherspoon pointed to several recent examples of the Sask. Party government sending massive contracts out of province and out of country at the expense of good jobs in Saskatchewan.

The Sask. Party awarded an international consortium led by a company from France a ludicrously costly $1.88 billion contract to build and manage the Regina bypass in a complex P3 ownership structure.

The Sask. Party chose seven non-Saskatchewan companies to build and manage schools, including a Milwaukee firm that will be responsible for maintenance and operations for the next several decades under a P3 rent-a-school scheme.

The Sask. Party chose six non-Saskatchewan corporations to build and manage a hospital and corrections facility in North Battleford; two from the United Kingdom, two from Alberta; one from Quebec and one from British Columbia. This is also a complex P3 ownership scheme.

The Sask. Party is laying off more than 300 health care workers and turning hospital linen services over to an Alberta company.

The Sask. Party just laid off all corrections and food services workers and gave the contract to an expensive United Kingdom catering service.

According to Statistics Canada, the sectors that lost the most jobs over the last year include: agriculture (-6,500 jobs); public administration (-3,700 jobs); forestry, fishing, mining, oil and gas (-3,200 jobs); construction (-2,200 jobs); manufacturing (-2,100 jobs); educational services (-1,800 jobs); professional scientific and technical services (-900 jobs); finance, insurance, real estate and leasing (-500 jobs).

via SW Sask News – Prairie Post – Prairie Post

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