Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Look at Unemployment

Source: Star Phoenix, Labour Market Getting Tighter

First post for today, though there is another one coming shortly that will be a critique post rather than an information post; but let's get facts and news sorted first, shall we?

Most of the campaigns seem to have developed their approaches to the campaign over the last couple of weeks. The Broten and Wotherspoon campaigns seem to be focused on reaching out to current members first and will likely evolve to expand past that scope as the race goes on. The Meili campaign seems focused on reaching out to past Meili leadership supporters and reaching out to bring new members into the party. And the Weir campaign, which we will focus on in this post, seems to be going for the widest public message by keeping the most pressure on the Wall Government.

That theme has continued with the Weir campaign going after the Wall Government and their responses to employment in the province. We all know that Premier Wall likes to talk about their being a labour shortage in the province, so much so that he feels the need to reach out to places like Ireland to find workers. But recent numbers, and Weir has pointed this out, suggest that the inverse of this assumption is true.

Now, I'm not the strongest numbers guy; so I won't bog anyone else who doesn't like too many numbers down, but I will throw out the important ones. Basically, it comes down to this: The number of people seeking work in the province (and I include myself in this number) are 27,000. The number of job openings in the province are 14,500.

The astute among you will have noticed that the number of unemployed is almost double the number of job openings.

Now, I will admit to some bias here, as I mentioned I include myself in the number of those seeking employment. I've talked about this a little before on the blog, though I do try to avoid getting too personal, I just want to say that it's at least somewhat gratifying to know that my misfortune in this area of finding employment isn't all my fault.

However, and this is a bit of editorializing, there truly is not enough being done by the current government to help people like me. After all, when you have more unemployed than jobs, it becomes a corporate market. Those doing the hiring can be a bit more, rigid, in who they want to hire because there is literally thousands of applications to choose from.

Meanwhile, hundreds if not thousands of those people will continue to fall through the cracks. And yes, gutting the public service as the Wall and Harper Governments have done over the past few years have contributed to this. I mean, to be honest, I have a degree in political science; I was basically trained to be a civil servant, and now careers in that field are less and less available.

But enough personal, let's get back to business. As it stands now, the Weir campaign is continuing to keep pressure on the Wall Government. And it should prove to be an effective strategy, as Mr. Weir has popped up in editorials and newspapers quite a bit more than the other candidates have thus far in the campaign. Of course, some might argue that the others (has sitting MLAs and a former leadership candidate) don't need to raise their profile as much as Weir does. And while that does have a ring of truth to it, I think it would be a mistake to write this off as simply a means to raise Weir's profile and nothing else.

The longer the other campaigns leave Weir as the only candidate standing up against the current government, the more likely it may look that he's the one who's up to the challenge.

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