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Sask. full-time jobs down, part-time gigs up: StatsCan

Part-time work was on the rise in the province during the past year. 

Full-time jobs are down 3,600, whereas there are 3,900 more part-time jobs, according to Statistics Canada. 

Regina's Kath O'Malley doesn't have full-time employment; instead, she is a "gig economy worker."

She has both a journalism and teaching degree, and spent years living around the globe. Now she primarily works with web designers to create and edit copy for clients' sites. 

"I was struggling to figure out how to combine those two skill sets and feeling like I had been out of the workforce too long," she said, noting she also lacked confidence.

Eventually, she went for it.

"It was great to just sort of get myself out there and realize, 'Yeah, I can do this.' "

Freelancing offers flexible lifestyle

O'Malley said the flexibility of working as a freelancer suits her lifestyle, especially because she has children. 

But she's always concerned that another contract might not pan out. 

"Every month I'm thinking, 'Oh, maybe I should look for a job now,' " she said, adding that she has thought about entering the traditional workforce.

"The more I work with small business clients, the more I want to work either with or have my own small business."

Numbers 'not a sign of progress'

Doug Elliott, publisher of Sask Trends Monitor, said there hasn't been a lot of change in the total number of people working. The unemployment rate for December 2017 was 6.5 per cent compared to 6.4 per cent the December prior. 

"We're in this stagnant or stable situation where it could go either way," Elliott said.

"It's certainly not a sign of progress. You do want the economy to grow; you want more people to have jobs."

Elliott said the latest numbers show improvement compared to those that came out in November. 

"I was concerned that here was a decline, that the job market was getting a lot worse," he said.

While the number of employed people hasn't changed that much, Elliott said the number of people completely out of the labour force has. That means people who are unemployed aren't actively looking for work.

"What's been going on in the last six months is that the number of unemployed people hasn't changed much, but the number of people out of the labour market has increased," he said. 

"They think it's not available; it's the winter months months. They might be employed in seasonal industry."