January 07, 2016

Saskatchewan Economy Remained Strong in 2015 Despite Challenges

In spite of challenges on the resource front, Saskatchewan’s economy remained strong in 2015 compared to other provinces.

“Saskatchewan remains at or near the top among Canadian provinces in many important economic categories, like job creation, unemployment rate and population growth,” Premier Brad Wall said.  “The fact we have been able to withstand the considerable economic hit from low resource prices while still showing economic progress speaks volumes about the resiliency and the diversity of Saskatchewan’s economy.”

The province is on track for another year of record high employment, averaging 573,900 for the first 11 months in 2015.  Saskatchewan’s employment growth has actually been gaining strength in recent months, with 7,200 more people working in November 2015 compared to November 2014.  That’s an increase of 1.3 per cent - nearly double the national average of 0.7 per cent and the second highest growth rate in the country.

Saskatchewan currently has the lowest unemployment rate in Canada at 5.5 per cent – well below the national average of 7.1 per cent.  Saskatchewan has had the lowest unemployment rate in the country for 25 of the past 26 months.  Regina’s unemployment rate of 4.0 per cent is lowest among Canadian cities.

Saskatchewan is also second among Canadian provinces in population growth rate over the past year.  Saskatchewan’s population grew by 12,312 people over the past year – an increase of 1.1 per cent.

In the first 10 months of 2015, wholesale trade was a record $24.2 billion, up by 9.4 per cent when compared to the same time period in 2014.  Saskatchewan had the highest percentage increase among the provinces.

Building permits were a record $2.6 billion in the first 10 months of 2015, up 9.0 per cent from the same period last year, the second highest percentage among the provinces.

“There is no doubt that the slowdown in the resource sector is causing some challenges for our economy, but Saskatchewan continues to attract people, jobs and investment and I expect that to continue in 2016,” Wall said.  “Our diversified economy is keeping Saskatchewan strong.”