Liberals manipulate jobs numbers to sell so-called “jobs plan”

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SURREY – The B.C. Liberals are manipulating jobs numbers in order to try to convince British Columbians the first year of their so-called “jobs plan” and associated propaganda isn’t a waste of taxpayers’ money, said the New Democrats.

“The Liberals are telling British Columbians that thousands of jobs have been created as a result of the jobs plan. However, more than half of the jobs they reported were created before they even announced the plan,” said New Democrat finance critic Bruce Ralston. “It’s a clear and deliberate manipulation of job statistics from a Liberal government that is already seriously lacking in credibility.

“The Liberals have spent millions of taxpayers’ dollars on advertisements and propaganda trying to convince British Columbians that they haven’t been wasting time and money.”

The Liberal government announced their jobs plan in September 2011, but they are citing job growth numbers reaching back to August of 2011. During that month before the plan was announced, B.C. saw a spike of 27,900 jobs.

“It is no wonder British Columbians feel they can’t trust this B.C. Liberal government. Their credibility is in tatters because they twist numbers in a desperate attempt to hold on to power and they refuse to take responsibility for their mistakes and mismanagement.

“It is absolutely misleading of the B.C. Liberals to include nearly 28,000 jobs as part of a plan that didn’t even exist at the time those jobs were created,” said Ralston.

“One clear place where a provincial government can play a role in getting British Columbians jobs is to ensure they have the training and skills when jobs become available,” said Ralston. “And that’s exactly where the Liberals have dropped the ball.

“Their failure to properly invest in advanced education and skills training means that companies operating in B.C. are having to look elsewhere for skilled workers,” said Ralston, pointed out that Rio Tinto Alcan has recently cited a skills shortage of 1,500 workers.

“We have people without jobs, and jobs without people.”

Ralston said nearly 80 per cent of jobs by 2020 will require post-secondary or trades training, according to B.C.’s Labour Market Outlook.