Wall Tries to Distract from Terrible 2016 Job Numbers

January 6th, 2017

Regina–Lewvan MP Erin Weir provided the following statement on today’s Labour Force Survey:

Today’s job numbers were so bad that Premier Brad Wall took to Twitter half an hour after their release to posture on Equalization without any new information about that program.

The real news is Statistics Canada’s report that, between November and December, Saskatchewan lost 2,600 full-time jobs. Despite some additional part-time jobs, total employment declined by 1,100 – making Saskatchewan the only province other than Newfoundland and Labrador in which employment fell last month.

The monthly unemployment rate also fell, but only because 3,200 Saskatchewan people who gave up looking for work were no longer counted as unemployed. Between November and December, Saskatchewan’s labour force decreased by 0.5 per cent, by far the largest drop of any province.

In 2016 as a whole, Saskatchewan was the only province other than Newfoundland and Labrador in which the labour force shrank. Saskatchewan had the second-largest annual decline in employment (1.2 per cent) after Newfoundland and Labrador. It was a year in which many Saskatchewan workers lost jobs and gave up looking for work.

Far from proposing any solutions, Wall is pushing cutbacks that would worsen Saskatchewan’s job market. The federal government should help to alleviate these problems by boosting the Canada Health Transfer, extending Employment Insurance benefits across Saskatchewan including Regina, and ensuring our province a fair share of infrastructure investment.