Random-Burin-St. George’s Liberal MP Judy Foote says more must be done to help create jobs in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Random-Burin-St. George's MP Judy Foote
In a news release Thursday, Foote cited high unemployment rates amongst the province’s youth as particularly troubling to her.
“Immediate action is required to grow the economy and create jobs,” she said.
“Certainly, the Harper government continues to ignore the difficult circumstances in which many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians currently find themselves. Instead of helping to create more jobs in the province, the Harper government has actually cut jobs, including many public service employees at Veterans Affairs Canada and the Department of National Defence.”
According to the news release, recently released figures by Statistics Canada reveal Newfoundland and Labrador has an 12.4 per cent unemployment rate, well above the seven per cent national rate. The Avalon
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate on the Avalon Peninsula is eight per cent, 17. 2 per cent in the south coast-Burin Peninsula region, 13.9 per cent in the west coast-Northern Peninsula-Labrador region and 16.4 per cent in the Notre Dame-central-Bonavista Bay region.
Stats show the unemployment rate among youth aged 20-24 in the province is 15.3 per cent, as compared to 8.1 per cent nationally.
“Over 5,000 Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who had jobs at this time last year are now out of work. The Harper government must do more to help solve this issue by focusing on the factors driving high unemployment,” Foote said.
“This includes recognizing the nature of seasonal employment and the need to create an environment in rural areas that will attract businesses which will mean more job opportunities. The need for improved skills training and education must also be addressed.”
Foote acknowledged an increasing number of people in her riding are telling her they are struggling to make ends meet financially and are having difficulty providing for their families.
As well, more and more young people graduating from college and university programs have high debt loads and no guarantee of finding a job, she said, forcing them to move back home with their parents.
“In many cases, their parents, some of whom are also having trouble making ends meet, try to assume the debt and living costs for their children, which jeopardizes the future for all involved,” she said.
Foote said Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has committed to providing provinces with the funds and flexibility required to help create jobs and deliver skills training programs when and where they are needed most.
“The best way to combat unemployment is with new jobs and the continuation of existing jobs, not by forcing people to leave their homes to find work elsewhere in the country,” she said.