Employment Not Unemployment – A Positive Outlook

Despite the fact that Saskatchewan had a 2.9% increase in jobs in March over the same time last year and despite the fact that it has the lowest unemployment rate in the country, the headlines still focused on the negative and reported a growing unemployment rate. It is often tough to sift through to find the good news in today’s economy but it is there.

In the early 1900’s there were those who left Ontario to pioneer in Saskatchewan. They made their mark and then returned home and so our history has continued to evolve, much the same today as it was in the past, in this vastly diversified country. Canadians have been encouraged by the many opportunities available, relocating across the country to reap the benefits offered by the oil sands of Alberta or B.C.’s forestry or Ontario’s automotive industry. And often, when those jobs begin to decline, those affected move back home. The influx of people moving back to certain areas contributed to an exaggeration in jobless rates, as the number entering the job market exceeded the number of jobs available. The good news is still an increasing availability of  jobs in some places.

Manitoba’s employment has remained steady, attributable to their well-diversified manufacturing base. Alberta and Ontario have experienced the highest job loss rates in the country but some of those jobs provided exceptional opportunities, experience and the highest of remuneration for many people over a significant number of years in a job market that has been evolving from a lifetime employee tenure to 20 or 30 years and today is approximately 2.5 years.

Statistics Canada reports August unemployment rates at 5% in Saskatchewan, 5.7% in Manitoba and 9.4% and 7.4% respectively in Ontario and Alberta. The full impact of significant job losses across our country is still yet to be seen and there will be some devastating consequences for many. However, there will also be those who will look back on this year and attribute it to a positive change in their lives. Possibly the loss of a job that made them miserable, the opportunity to further their education, an introduction to a new career, a new city, new friends, the start of a new business or cherished memories of time spent with family that would otherwise have been consumed by work. So read beyond the bad news headlines and make a conscious effort to look for the positive.

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