Troubling employment trends on the horizon
Published Friday, December 7, 2012 6:58PM AST
The unemployment rate is down in all three Maritime provinces, but there is a troubling trend in some corners of the region.
“There’s a lot of people out of work,” says Saint John construction worker Leonard Muise.
“A lot of people leaving the province, going elsewhere for work. They’re going west, they’re going all over. We’re pretty fortunate. It’s been steady the last couple of years.”
The unemployment rate is sitting at 8.8 per cent in Nova Scotia, 11.4 per cent on Prince Edward Island and 11.2 per cent in New Brunswick.
Halifax – the region’s largest city – has an unemployment rate of only 5.7 per cent.
However, unemployment is inching up again in Saint John, to 9.3 per cent.
The jobless rate has been steadily increasing in Saint John and within the past few years, it has gone from having the lowest unemployment rate of any city in the country, to having one of the highest.
Last month, the jobless rate in Saint John was second only to Windsor, Ontario.
“I know more people who have gone out west in the last year than in the last 10 years and that’s because there’s no work here for them,” says Ron Oldfield of the Saint John District Labour Council.
Oldfield says youth unemployment in Saint John - which is double the national rate - is especially alarming.
“Our youth, they are only going to make so many trips out west before they stay out west,” he says.
“We need to turn that trend around. We need our young people here. We need them in our trades. We need them in our office buildings.”
With files from CTV Atlantic's Mike Cameron