As Saskatchewan benefits from more than $10 billion in new mines and expansions, Saskatoon is staying out front in the race to lead Canada’s economic growth.
The Conference Board of Canada has predicted that Saskatoon’s economy will expand by 4.1% this year, leading the nation’s economic growth right through to 2013. The city’s nearest rival was Calgary, where the economy was expected to grow by 3.4%.
Tim LeClair, Chief Executive Officer of the Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority (SREDA), said that other sectors of the city’s diverse economy had also played their part, including manufacturing, agriculture, transportation and communication.
Business entrepreneurs were also creating more jobs, with more than 1,000 new business licenses issued every year to Saskatoon entrepreneurs.
"If each of those new businesses has 1.5 employees or higher, that's tremendous job creation," says LeClair.
In addition, the strong mining investment is creating high quality jobs, says LeClair, with local mining companies expecting to recruit between 500 to 700 engineers. "These positions have annual incomes of $150,000 and up.”
Saskatoon's unemployment rate for August, 2011 was 5.1% – the fourth lowest rate of any metropolitan area in Canada.
Saskatchewan province enjoys the lowest unemployment rate in the country (4.5% in August), with full-time employment recently reaching an all-time high of 454,300 in August 2011.