Saskatchewan bucks national job market trend

Justin Crann
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Province adds more than 18,000 jobs in record-setting year

Saskatchewan's labour market remains strong, bucking a trend of declining employment nationally.

Tim McMillan

According to data from Statistics Canada the Canadian economy grew by only 102,000 jobs in what is seen as an underwhelming year.

However, an average of 18,460 more people were employed in Saskatchewan in 2013 than in 2012, according to further Statistics Canada data.

"The previous record was about 11,000 jobs for the year, and this year we went well above that," said Tim McMillan, the minister responsible for Trade. "We think that reflects some of the strength in the economy that we're seeing.

"We knew that the jobs were here, and it's very good what we're seeing: people have moved to our province to fill those jobs," he added.

Saskatchewan stacks up very well when compared to the rest of the nation, McMillan said, noting the province's unemployment rates, which are lower than the national average.

Both the unemployment and youth unemployment rates are close to half those of Canada as a whole.

Unemployment sits at 3.9 per cent against the country's 7.2 per cent, while youth unemployment is at 6.6 per cent versus a national rate of 14 per cent.

"We are the place to be in the country if you want opportunities or want to build a career," he said. "We want to spread that word far and wide, because we want people to move to our province and be part of this growth."

McMillan said that, while traditional economic drivers like the resource sector and mining haven't been as strong in recent months, "the fundamental strength of our economy has made up for that and more."

"I think that it's certainly a good sign that there is broad-based economic opportunities in our province," he added. "We continue, here in Saskatchewan, to be leaders in the country in terms of creating jobs.

"People are coming here and they are finding opportunity when they do," said McMillan.

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This story has been corrected from a previous version that stated 20 per cent of new job growth for the country was in the province of Saskatchewan. That error was made based on a misreading of the numbers. The Times-Herald apologizes for the error.

Organizations: Statistics Canada

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Canada

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