Employment up on local and provincial levels

The construction industry is facing a persistent downturn province-wide.

The latest job numbers from Statistics Canada show more people working both in Prince Albert and in Saskatchewan as a whole.

The data comes from the monthly labour force estimates, which provide a month-to-month and year-to-year snapshot o how many people are working, and in what fields. The data includes seasonally adjusted data, which can be used for month-to-month comparisons, and unadjusted data, which is only reliable for year-to-year comparisons.

At the local level, only the unadjusted data is available. It shows that, for Prince Albert, about 1,500 more people are working than at the same time last year, and about 2,000 more people are participating in the labour force, meaning they are either working or looking for work.

The increase in the number of people participating in the labour force is contributing to the higher unemployment rate. At this time last year, it was at 8.8 per cent, while it is now at 10.5 per cent. The unemployment rate is calculated using labour force participants, meaning those who are not looking for work are not counted as unemployed.

At the provincial level, Saskatchewan saw its employment rise slightly, while job numbers remained steady elsewhere. Employment rose by 2,500 in October, while the province posted a 6.2 per cent unemployment rate, 0.4 percentage points higher than the national rate of 5.8 per cent.

Year-over-year, provincial employment is up by 1.7 per cent, or 9,600.

Those job increases have come from business, construction, support services, wholesale and retail trade, health care and social services. Job losses have been seen in finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing and natural resources. Public sector jobs were down, while private sector employment was up.

The provincial government is pleased with the latest numbers, saying that it’s a sign the Saskatchewan Party plan is working.

“These job numbers are unequivocally positive news for our provincial economy,” Immigration and Career Training Minister Jeremy Harrison said in a press release.

“Saskatchewan job creators are showing confidence in our province in spite of the headwinds our economy faces in the areas of transportation, trade and the threat of a federally imposed carbon tax. We will continue to promote our province and the goods produced and manufactured by our residents to new and existing trade markets in order to create jobs and opportunity for Saskatchewan people right here at home.”

Nationally, in the past 12 months the number of employed people grew by 206,000, an increase of 1.1 per cent. Most of the gains were in full-time work. Hours worked also increased by about 0.7 per cent.