Unemployment Rate in Sask. Above Quebec for First Time on Record

November 4th, 2016

Statistics Canada reported today that Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate rose to 6.9% last month – the highest provincial unemployment rate outside Alberta and Atlantic Canada. October 2016 is the first month in the history of the Labour Force Survey, which started in 1976, that the unemployment rate is higher in Saskatchewan than in Quebec.

“Statistics Canada figures debunk Sask. Party rhetoric and reveal how badly our provincial job market has deteriorated,” observed Regina–Lewvan MP Erin Weir. “Despite the provincial government’s failure to respond, the federal government should help by extending Employment Insurance (EI) benefits across the province and by giving Saskatchewan our fair share of infrastructure investment.”

Ottawa eventually included most of Saskatchewan in extended EI, but continues to exclude Regina. This week’s Economic Update revealed that there is no shortage of money in the EI account to assist laid-off workers in our city, if the government wanted to do so (see Tuesday’s press release).

The Economic Update (page 19) also promised “details on the allocations for the new $25.3 billion investment in public transit through Budget 2017.”

“The Liberals allocated their initial $3.4 billion for public transit based on current ridership, so provinces like Saskatchewan with underdeveloped transit systems are getting less than our per capita share,” said Weir. “I hope all Saskatchewan MPs will join me in fighting to ensure that our province receives a share of federal transit funding at least equal to our share of Canada’s population.”