While national job numbers have economists across Canada feeling optimistic – the story in Saskatchewan is not as uplifting. Unemployment is up for the third month in a row.
Canada’s economy may be creating more jobs than expected but businesses are still facing pressure from rising costs.
T + A Vintage, a small business in Regina, says those pressures will force it to close at the end of the month.
“The sales and the profit just aren’t quite there and the higher expenses between utilities, food costs and things like that,” owner Tim Weisgarber told CTV News.
“It’s just unmanageable, unbearable.
Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate now sits at 5.4 per cent, up 0.3 from August.
“Any small business owners you talk to will tell you that people in Saskatchewan are poorer than they were five years ago,” NDP MLA Aleana Young told reporters.
“Consumer confidence is down, spending is down, small businesses are struggling because households and businesses are struggling to pay the bills.”
While the provincial government didn’t deny the latest statistics – it was quick to turn the spotlight to the past and the NDP’s record.
“The fact of the matter remains that Saskatchewan has created more jobs so far this year, than during the entire 16 years the NDP were in power,” Minister of Trade and Export Development Jeremy Harrison said in a statement to CTV News.
“They actually lost jobs and population declined.”
The province’s sentiments is little consolation for Weisgarber and T + V Vintage.
“You know you fight for as long as you can but there comes a point where you have to back out and move on and so we made that decision and it’s a tough one to make,” he said.
“We have the best customers, the best vendors, the best staff and we want to thank everyone for supporting us over the last nine years.”
T + A Vintage’s story is not completely over.
The establishment plans to reinvent itself as a pop-up vendor at various marketplaces, thus eliminating some of the pressures faced by businesses with storefronts.