The numbers are in and Saskatchewan saw a surge in full-time employment within the province hinting towards a strong labour-force within the province.
Statistics Canada released a report stating there was an increase of 2800 full-time jobs compared to last August and a year-over-year comparison shows jobs were up by 1500.
Alastair MacFadden, Deputy Minister of immigration and career training, said they have been seeing less part-time jobs, a rise in full-time jobs and moreover, a rise in overtime from those full-time positions. He said this is a good sign for the province, not only for the level of trust employers have with their employees but the surge in overtime is an indicator for new positions coming available.
Although overall job positions are increasing, that is not to say that all of those positions are being filled by local Saskatchewan residents.
MacFadden outlined that their role is to make sure the government exercises a balanced agenda and give Saskatchewan workers who are qualified and willing, first opportunities. However, there can be a significant portion of employees coming from outside the province to fill the positions if locals aren’t able to fit what is needed.
In the Kindersley area alone, MacFadden reference the number of 285 as the number of job vacancies listed on saskjobs.ca as of last month.
The Deputy Minister said what he feels needs to happen is to have a deeper relationship between the sectors that drive our economy, which would be the oil and gas industry, and the education and training systems to ensure we have sufficient skilled workers to fill vacancies.
A disconnect in skills and education isn’t the only area plaguing our local job market. Housing accommodations, or lack there of, have posed their own hurdles in workers, Saskatchewan based or otherwise, from coming to our region for employment.
“It’s always a challenge when there is a surge in economic development, that needs to be matched by housing opportunities,” said MacFadden adding that all the Ministries work together to make sure both workers and businesses see the benefits of building a future in Saskatchewan.
He added that one area of significance is the number of indigenous people positioning themselves within the job market. There has been a 28 per cent increase of Indigenous workers in our province since 2007, something that MacFadden said is a substantial increase and also very positive.
MacFadden stated that the numbers show that we are going in a positive direction and we will see what transpires when word trickles down from Ottawa on decisions that are currently looming in the air. The consensus is however, that the province will continue to forge forward until decisions, if any, are made that affect our momentum.