Statistics Canada’s monthly jobs report came out Friday and Saskatchewan had an intriguing report card with some hard-to-explain features.
First of all, the workforce went up. That is the total number of people available in the working age categories. Interestingly, the monthly estimate of our population went up as well – two factors pointing to a somewhat robust market that is attracting people to the province.
But we also saw a decline in the number of full-time jobs. So, more people and fewer full-time positions even though that seems to contradict just about every bit of anecdotal evidence which suggests employers are scrambling to fill the new jobs they are creating.
The number of job vacancies now exceeds the number of people who are unemployed for the first time since Statistics Canada started tracking job vacancies seven years ago. Demographics are playing a role as over 300,000 Canadians have retired so far this year.
All this results in these changes to Saskatchewan’s key indicators: the unemployment rate is higher and the employment rate is down. Yet the participation rate is up, which seems contradictory.