City of Winnipeg should prioritize job creation

Low quarterly hiring rates should be met with municipal solutions

A recent study shows employers in Winnipeg are looking to hire less new employees this spring. Only seven per cent of employers surveyed plan to hire during the second quarter of 2020 — April 1 to June 30 — with three per cent expecting employee cutbacks.

With less available job positions on the market, this information will surely have an impact on people seeking employment in the coming months. If fewer jobs are available, obtaining the available positions becomes more competitive for job seekers and people will be left without work.

Though Winnipeg’s unemployment rate is currently sitting at five per cent, we may see an increase in this data if opportunities dwindle.

Our municipal government should consider the benefits of making job creation a top priority in our city.

If the City of Winnipeg steps up and makes jobs available for those who are eager to work, we may be able to remedy the issue.

This needs to start with jobs that need to be done, but currently are not being addressed nearly fast enough.

For years, Winnipeggers have expressed concern over the city’s crumbling infrastructure. From bridges to the infamously holey roads and highways, Winnipeg is in desperate need of restoration and modernization.

If the city were to create more jobs in other areas like infrastructure, we could see a potential decrease in issues like road closures and traffic delays due to more staff working on repairing damaged roadways.

This would be a definite benefit to the many Winnipeggers familiar with the traffic backups and the endless supply of potholes our city seems to have.

But more than just the benefit in job creation and efficiency, as Manitoba Liberals pointed out in 2019, many of these infrastructure projects can have a high return on investment.

Thus, perpetuating a healthy cycle of job creation, efficiency and reaping the benefits of having robust infrastructure.

But public spending isn’t the only way to ensure Winnipeggers are employed.

Allowing more companies to operate in the city — by providing a more favourable landscape for them to operate — will allow the opportunity to create more private-sector jobs.

Uber coming to Winnipeg is another step in the right direction.

Companies like Uber not only contribute to the creation of more jobs, but have the added benefit of diving drivers a flexible work schedule.

According to data from Uber, nearly a quarter of its drivers in the U.S. were unemployed before becoming drivers for the company.

Having available avenues for on-demand work like driving for Uber is a great way to allow people to work who have scheduling constraints or other issues that may make shift work difficult or impossible.

This could include students as an example due to classes and studying taking up a lot of time, though they may wish to find part-time or casual work.

It also allows students the benefit of being able to take on far more work between semesters, when many other jobs require a longer-term commitment.

If our city shifts their budgeting focus away from cuts and instead toward investing in our citizens — in the form of infrastructure spending or incentive for private business to come to Winnipeg — we could see economic growth and help our city to thrive.

We can hope that those with the influence to make such decisions make the right ones.