The number of people collecting employment insurance (EI) in Saskatchewan has increased by 37 per cent compared to last year.
The latest numbers released by Statistics Canada show that the number of people collecting EI totaled 15,210 in December 2015, compared to 11,060 in 2014. The biggest increase was among people who were last employed in trades, transportation or as equipment operators.
The number of EI claims also rose in Saskatchewan by 1.4 per cent between November and December, indicating that the number of people collecting benefits will continue to increase.
In the same time frame, the unemployment numbers in Alberta doubled from 31,200 to 62,500 between December 2014 and December 2015.
The increase in unemployment is due in large part to the downturn in the oil sector, but Premier Brad Wall remains hopeful that oil companies are still investing in the province.
R.R.I. North America just announced a new $50 million oil recovery project outside of Lloydminster.
“I think it’s very encouraging that at a time of $30 a barrel West Texas, oil companies are still making long-term investments for the future when prices recover,” he said, when asked about the EI numbers.
Wall also hinted at another large scale investment announcement coming to the oil sector in Saskatchewan.