2013 was another strong year for Saskatchewan’s economy as population, employment, exports and manufacturing are all on track to hit new record levels.
“As the numbers roll in for the remainder of 2013, Saskatchewan’s economy continues to be one of the best in the nation,” Economy Minister Bill Boyd said. “More people are living here, more people are working here, people are earning more money than ever before and we continue to increase trade with the rest of the world.”
Saskatchewan’s population hit a record of more than 1,114,000 as of October 2013. The province’s annual growth rate is the second highest in Canada.
Employment growth was up 18,600 (3.5 per cent) in the first 11 months of 2013 when compared with the same timeframe as 2012. That means the province is on track to break the all-time record for annual employment growth of 13,000 set back in 1977.
Saskatchewan has had the lowest unemployment rate in the country through the first 11 months of 2013 at 4.8 per cent (seasonally adjusted). Regina had the lowest unemployment rate (3.5 per cent) and Saskatoon the second lowest (4.3 per cent) among major Canadian cities over the January-November period.
Saskatchewan products continue to be in demand around the world. International exports totalled $27.2 billion between January and October 2013, a record amount for the first 10 months of the year.
In the first 10 months of 2013, manufacturing sales were $12.8 billion, a 6.4 per cent increase over the same period last year, the second highest in the nation. Wholesale sales were $20.6 billion, an 8.1 per cent rise over the same time period, the highest increase among the provinces.
Major forecasters predict Saskatchewan will have the second best economic growth rate in 2013 at 3.0 per cent. In 2014, the province is predicted to again take second place after Alberta with a 2.6 per cent increase in GDP.
Average weekly earnings on a seasonally adjusted basis were up to $946.37 on average for the first ten months of 2013 compared to the same period last year, a rise of 3.2 per cent.
“We are fortunate to have a diversity of growing sectors,” Boyd said. “There are both traditional and innovative opportunities in the province, creating jobs, attracting people and investment, and above all, making Saskatchewan a great place to live and work.”