Our fair city is an interesting study on the unemployment front.
As was recently reported in Daily Herald, the number of Prince Albert residents without work (7.9 per cent) is more than double, and even closing in on tripling the provincial rate (3.2 per cent).
At the same time, saskjob.ca lists more than 530 jobs needing to be filled in the region that cross the spectrum of educational backgrounds necessary and job types available.
So while close to eight per cent of Prince Albert residents aren’t working, there are hundreds of jobs needing to filled. The question is, how to bring those two numbers closer together.
Perhaps the most disturbing fact about that number is that it only takes into account how many people did anything during a four-week period to try to find a job. If you aren’t actually seeking employment, you aren’t officially considered unemployed when it comes to these figures.
That number would undeniably rise, and potentially rise by a significant amount if those capable of working but who aren’t even making the effort to find a job were counted. It is frustrating to see so many people choosing not to work and being cared for by social assistance. There are enough people trying to find work and struggling and those unable to work and needing social assistance already. And thankfully our society has programs in place to help those individuals.
But those who could be working, but instead of making their own way and contributing and instead are a drain on society that need to take a good hard look in the mirror. If laziness is the only thing preventing someone from working, especially in a province like Saskatchewan with an abundance of job opportunities and the lowest unemployment rate in the country, by far, that is just an unacceptable situation.
There doesn’t seem to be a magic panacea to deal with these individuals, who seem to think that living on government assistance is preferable to the satisfaction, self worth and income that a job provides. How do you force able-bodied potential labour force members who refuse to work, to work?
It’s not a new question, and it’s not an easily answered question. But maybe it is a question each man and woman in that position needs to ask themselves in front of their mirror.
We have a social assistance system in this country that we should all be thankful for. It is imperfect and has its fair share of warts and many of those who are forced to live on it would suggest its not enough, and that’s a worthwhile discussion.
But for those who make a choice that they are going to sponge off the system, please take your place in front of the mirror.
Prince Albert Daily Herald