Halifax, NS – Statistics Canada released the monthly Labour Force Survey today showing that while unemployment was down across Canada, it is up considerably in Nova Scotia. Unemployment went from 8.7% to 9.1%. This means there are currently 44,700 people unemployed in Nova Scotia. This number also doesn’t include the number of folks who have given up on looking for work, or people who are working part-time jobs because they can’t find full time work. When these people are included unemployment is in the double digits.
“The situation is getting desperate,” says Kyle Buott, President of the Halifax-Dartmouth & District Labour Council. “With almost 45,000 people unemployed, our province continues to have one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.”
The provincial Liberal government elected last fall has not released a plan to address this massive problem. Instead of taking action to address unemployment, the Liberals have continued to dole out corporate handouts but with accountability than ever before.
“The Liberals recently gave total control of the Jobs Fund to the corporate sector. Instead of public oversight, now corporations get to decide amongst themselves which of their buddies get access to corporate handouts. This is a total abdication of responsibility for creating jobs,” says Buott.
The changes to Employment Insurance by the federal Conservatives aren’t helping either. More people end up on social assistance when they cannot get access to Employment Insurance. The federal government’s own numbers show the number of people receiving Employment Insurance is down, despite unemployment being higher.
“Workers pay into Employment Insurance all their lives, but the Harper Conservatives have made it more difficult to access that problem when you lose your job. This is forcing people onto to the provincial social assistance program and downloading costs onto the province. The regressive changes to EI need to be overturned,” continues Buott.
The Halifax-Dartmouth & District Labour Council calls on Stephen McNeil and the Liberals to immediately introduce a stimulus package to create jobs and to challenge the Conservatives cuts to Employment Insurance.
Full details can be found at: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/lfss01a-eng.htm
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The Halifax-Dartmouth & District Labour Council represents 25,000 affiliated unionized workers across HRM, in virtually every sector of the economy, both public and private.
For More Information:
Kyle Buott, President
Halifax-Dartmouth & District Labour Council