REGINA - Once again, the Sask Party government and the NDP opposition had diametrically opposing views on the latest Statistics Canada labour force numbers for February in Saskatchewan.
The government issued a press release Friday touting 9,400 new jobs over Feb. 2022, an increase of 1.6 per cent, from the StatsCan report. That prompted the government to tout the continuous growth in jobs over a period of almost two years.
"Saskatchewan has now seen 23 months of continuous year-over-year job growth across many of our economic sectors, with thousands of new jobs created every month," Immigration and Career Training Minister Jeremy Harrison said in a statement.
"We are on track to meeting our Growth Plan goal of 100,000 new jobs by the end of the decade, and our government looks forward to fostering more opportunities, more investments, and more growth that works for everyone in our province."
Other stats of note include the seasonally adjusted provincial unemployment rate remaining steady at 4.3 per cent, the second lowest among provinces and below the national average of five per cent. The February unemployment rate is also down from 4.6 per cent in Feb. 2022 and unchanged compared to Jan. 2023.
It was also noted there were record high labour stats for Saskatchewan’s Labour Force at 608,500, for Saskatchewan Male Employment at 305,100, Saskatchewan Female Employment at 274,900, and Off-reserve Indigenous Employment at 61,100.
Full-time employment was up 8,000, an increase of 1.7 per cent, and part-time increased by 1,400, up 1. 3 per cent. Saskatchewan's private sector employment was up 3,500, or 1.1 per cent, and self-employed increased by 1,300, or 1.6 per cent.
Year-over-year gains were reported for professional, scientific, and technical services, up 5,000 for an increase of 19.8 per cent; health care and social assistance, up 3,300 or 3.8 per cent; accommodation and food services, up 2,900 or 10.2 per cent, and educational service, up 2,900 or 5.7 per cent.
In response, the NDP issued a news release in which Opposition Leader Carla Beck and Finance Critic Trent Wotherspoon trashed Premier Scott Moe for “having the worst jobs record in Canada.”
The Opposition again claimed that “despite a small bump in employment last month,” Saskatchewan was still dead last in total job creation among the provinces and dead last in full-time job creation since Scott Moe became Premier.
“Where I grew up on the farm near Lang, patting yourself on the back for a job half done just wouldn’t fly. Scott Moe still has the worst job creation record in Canada if you look at the big picture. He’s all hat and no cattle,” said Beck in a statement.
“This Sask. Party government is taking one straight out of the Trump playbook and calling any facts they don’t like misinformation,” said Wotherspoon in a news release. Wotherspoon was referring to Harrison's use of the words "alternative facts" in the Legislature this week in describing the NDP's portrayal of the province's economic numbers.
“Saskatchewan people need a government focused on delivering more jobs and bigger paycheques, not a one focused on massaging the numbers to protect their reputations," said Wotherspoon.