EI claim spike worrisome trend: MacKay

Kensington – An ongoing spike in the number of Islanders with Employment Insurance claims is a worrisome trend, says Kensington-Malpeque MLA and Opposition Economic Development and Tourism Critic Matthew MacKay.

“The summer is the busiest time of the year for our economy with our primary industries in full swing. We shouldn’t be seeing large spikes in the numbers of Islanders with EI claims if the economy is humming along. Premier MacLauchlan and his government  seem more concerned with photo opportunities for themselves than job opportunities for Islanders,” said MacKay.

Recent data from Statistics Canada showed a spike in the number of Island EI claimants, increasing by approximately 500 to a total of just under 8,000. Nationally the rate was unchanged in June and Prince Edward Island experienced the largest spike at a rate of 6.5 per cent. Adding to that worrisome trend was the loss in July of 300 full time jobs from the Island economy and a shrinking of the Island workforce by 1100 in data released by Statistics Canada.  

“Five hundred more Islanders in June with EI claims, 300 fewer full time jobs and 1100 fewer people in the workforce in July doesn’t signal a bustling economy to me or to many Islanders hungry for work to support their families,” Mackay concluded.

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