Dismal August job numbers show need for a real jobs plan

Charlottetown  –  Kensington-Malpeque MLA and Opposition Economic Development and Tourism Critic Matthew MacKay says that dismal job numbers for August highlight the importance of having a real plan for job growth for Islanders.

“We need to get Islanders back to work and grow our economy. People are hurting with higher taxes, higher energy bills, and the higher cost of living when Prince Edward Island has the lowest average weekly wage earnings in all of Canada. There were 2000 more Islanders looking for work in August but there were 700 fewer full time jobs in the economy. It’s clear that we need a real jobs plan for Islanders because the high tax, low growth policies of the MacLauchlan government aren’t working,” says MacKay.

Newly released data from Statistics Canada for the month of August shows that the Island’s unemployment rate ballooned to 12.1 percent from 9.6 percent the previous month. The number of full-time jobs available dropped by 700 while the number of Islanders in the labour force looking for work grew by 2000. From August 2015 to August 2016 the number of full-time jobs on Prince Edward shrank by 2200.

“We’ve raised concerns with government about the lack of good full time jobs and were told that work was underway to do market analysis to find the gaps in the job market. Those gaps are becoming canyons and government seems no closer to figuring out where those gaps are. That work needs to be done and shared with Islanders because we’re going to struggle to attract our young people back home without a good job to come home to,” says Morell-Mermaid MLA and Opposition Workforce and Advanced Learning Critic Sidney MacEwen.

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