Economist and NDP leadership candidate Erin Weir made the following comments on today’s job
“Statistics Canada reported that all of Saskatchewan’s apparent employment growth last month and half of our employment growth during the past year reflected self-employment rather than positions paid by employers.
The number of employees in our province actually declined to 437,600 in October from 440,300 in September - a loss of 2,700 jobs. But 5,000 more people identified themselves as self-employed to the Labour Force Survey, bringing that total to 103,100 in October from 98,100 in September.
These figures are difficult to interpret because self-employment lumps together high-income professionals and people eking out marginal incomes through precarious contract work. Last month’s spike in self-employment, combined with a drop in the number of employees, raises the concern that many Saskatchewan residents are trying to get by on their own due to a lack of good jobs.
Even including self-employment, total employment is not keeping pace with the province’s expanding labour force. As a result, unemployment rose by 200 last month and by 3,700 over the past year.
An area of notable weakness in Saskatchewan’s labour market was the ‘information, culture and recreation’ sector, in which employment fell by 1,500 last month to 17,700 in October from 19,200 in September. That decline likely reflects the Sask. Party government’s misguided decision to eliminate the Film Employment Tax Credit.”
Self-employment versus employees in Saskatchewan:
Labour force, employment and unemployment by province:
Saskatchewan employment by industry: