Showing posts with label Saskatoon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Saskatoon. Show all posts

Unemployment rate in Saskatchewan unchanged, lowest in Canada

No change in unemployment rate in Saskatchewan, remains lowest in Canada.
No change in unemployment rate in Saskatchewan, remains lowest in Canada.
Photo Credit: -, Global News
Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate remained steady in July as the province continues to lead Canada with the lowest unemployment rate in Canada.
New numbers released by Stats Canada on Friday has the unemployment rate in the province at 4.9 per cent for July 2011, unchanged from June and down 0.2 per cent from the same time last year. The number of unemployed people actually rose to 27,100, an increase of 300 from June.
Employment in the province also increased in July, with 1,600 more people working than in the previous month. Full-time employment increased by 4,500 while there were 2,900 less people working part-time.
Saskatoon’s unemployment rate dropped 0.1 per cent from the previous month to 5.4 per cent, the fourth lowest in the country for a major centre. Regina held steady at 5.2 per cent, the second lowest in Canada.
"Today's numbers show that Saskatchewan's economy remains strong and steady despite the economic uncertainty south of the border and in other parts of the world," Advanced Education, Employment and Immigration Minister Rob Norris said.
While the opposition NDP was happy to see an increase in jobs, NDP Critic for Education, Employment and Immigration Cam Broten was concerned about the number of unemployed people.
“Clearly, the overall picture released by Statistics Canada this morning is not entirely a pretty one,” Broten said. “With nearly 30,000 people looking for work and with significant job losses in key regions and sectors, there is certainly cause for concern in the latest statistics.”
However, Norris remains optimistic about the future, pointing to job opportunities all across the province and continued growth in the economy.
“Seven major economic forecasters place Saskatchewan's real GDP growth rate at 3.7 per cent in 2011, second highest in Canada."
The unemployment rate in Canada for July was 7.2 per cent.

Near 50 per cent increase to online Sask. jobs

Saskatchewan employers continue to create job opportunities in huge numbers, even on the web.
Saskatchewan employers continue to create job opportunities in huge numbers, even on the web.
Photo Credit: -, Global Saskatoon website experiences its second straight month of over 13-thousand job posts. The website saw an approximate 50 per cent increase over June, 2010.
Rob Norris, Advanced Education, Employment and Immigration Minister, said “employers in every corner of the province continue to open the doors of opportunity for Saskatchewan people.”
Employers from 327 Saskatchewan communities posted over 67-thousand job opportunities on the Saskatchewan website between January and June. This shows an increase of over 13-thousand over the same period last year.
“We already have the lowest unemployment rate in the country, and with a growing number of job prospects, people from across Canada and around the world are looking at Saskatchewan as a great place to live, work and raise a family.”
The trades and primary industry categories accounted for more than a third of the overall total for June. is Saskatchewan’s largest job-matching website. The site provides job posting services free of charge for employers across the province and free resume posting for job seekers from around the world.


Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan festival tents...Image via Wikipedia
Saskatchewan’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 5.0 per cent is the lowest in Canada for the second straight month – well below the national average of 7.6 per cent.
Advanced Education, Employment and Immigration Minister Rob Norris said the numbers support the Conference Board of Canada’s release earlier this week, which indicate Saskatoon and Regina will have the first and third highest economic growth rates in the country in 2011.
Norris also pointed to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’s April Business Barometer, which shows that small business optimism in Saskatchewan has hit a three-year high. The report notes that 29 per cent of Saskatchewan employers expect to add full-time staff over the next three to four months.
“Employers in our largest cities and across Saskatchewan are expressing confidence in their future and in the economic future of our province,” Norris said. “As a result, Saskatchewan is and will continue to be the best place in Canada for skilled workers looking for new opportunities.”
April also marks nine consecutive months of year-over-year increases in employment for Aboriginal Youth, which jumped by 1,000, or 11.6 per cent.
Norris noted a strong April for, where Saskatchewan employers posted 11,410 jobs – an 18 per cent year-over-year increase and the largest monthly total since October of 2008.
“With more than 8,000 jobs available right now, I encourage everyone to visit SaskJobs and see the opportunities our province has to offer,” Norris said.
For more information, contact:
Christopher Jones-Bonk
Advanced Education, Employment and Immigration
Phone: 306-798-3106

Boomtown Regina: more people and jobs

Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan festival tents...Image via WikipediaTHE LEADER-POST FEBRUARY 5, 2011

The term "boom town" was used to describe Regina in its infancy, when the future city was little more than a few wooden buildings, rudimentary houses, tents and stables in the 1880s.
Well, if early settlers thought that was a boom, the term certainly applies to the impressive expansion Regina is currently enjoying.
Even in a city used to good news of late, it's been quite a week:
- On Tuesday, the first phase of the $350-million Canadian Logistics Services (CLS) Distribution Centre officially opened. It's the first development in the massive multimodal transportation hub that will bring together rail, truck and possibly air cargo facilities just west of the city.
CLS will handle a variety of merchandise for Loblaw Companies and will move "80 semi-loads of groceries each and every day", Premier Brad Wall said. It currently employs 176 people, but the workforce will grow to up to 800 later this year. The province is said to be "very close" to announcements about other companies moving to the hub.
- On Thursday, Statistics Canada reported that Regina is the third fastest-growing metro area in the country after Saskatoon and Vancouver. The population of Regina and area swelled by almost 5,000 between July 2009 and July 2010, to an estimated 215,138 people. Particularly encouraging is the fact the Regina census metropolitan area's median age of 36.9 was fourth lowest in the nation. (Saskatoon, whose population jumped by 7,240 (to 265,259) has a median age of 35.4 -the lowest in Canada). Just a few years ago, when outmigration was at its height, it was feared Regina would have an aging population with too few young people. It's also good to know international immigration is playing a big part in population growth as the world discovers what Regina has to offer.
- Friday brought another Statistics Canada report, this time showing Regina with the lowest unemployment of all Canadian cities surveyed at just 4.5 per cent. There was a year-over-year increase of 6,700 jobs. Regina (and thirdplace Saskatoon) helped the province achieve a 5.4 per cent jobless rate, second in the nation after Manitoba.
Though some progress is being made, aboriginal unemployment remains unacceptably high. However, the city's biggest issue remains the short supply of rental housing -particularly affordable accommodation. Virtually all newcomers -even those who plan to buy property -initially need rental housing, yet the vacancy rate hovers around one per cent. Longer-term renters on low incomes -many of them aboriginal -are struggling with rising rents.
We look forward to the release of the province's housing strategy in June, which promises to have an "an emphasis on affordable and accessible housing". Municipalities, home builders, real estate organizations, chambers of commerce and community-based organizations across the province are working on solutions to this issue.
Affordable housing is a crucial element to marketing Regina and maintaining population growth. The pioneers might have been prepared to rough it in tents in the 19th century, but that's hardly an option for newcomers today.
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Saskatoon outpaces all metro areas in Canada

Thorvaldson building located on the main campu...Image via WikipediaBY DAVID HUTTON, THE STARPHOENIX

Saskatoon is growing faster and aging more slowly than any other major Canadian city.
The latest population estimates released Thursday by Statistics Canada reveal the Saskatoon region was the fastest-growing metropolitan area in Canada for the one-year period ending in July 2010, surpassing Alberta's major centres in growth for the first time in decades.
The Saskatoon region is also the youngest in the country, bucking the pan-Canadian trend of a rapidly aging population.
But the changing demographics pose "huge challenges" for the city and raise difficult questions about the young aboriginal workforce, a prominent economist says.
"You have this young aboriginal population that on average is not very well off and on average not very well educated," said Eric Howe, a University of Saskatchewan economics professor. "If we do not do something about that, the wheels are going to fall off. The aboriginal population absolutely has to be brought into the economic mainstream."
Led by a booming aboriginal population and a major spike in international immigration driven by the province's expedited application program, the Saskatoon region, which includes bedroom communities such as Warman, Martensville, Dundurn and Dalmeny, has now passed the 265,000 population mark, a three per cent jump and a net increase of more than 7,200 people in one year.
Regina was third in the country in growth, behind Vancouver in second spot. The Regina region now has 215,000 people, an increase of close to 5,000 from the previous year.
The main reason for Saskatoon's rapid growth is an increase in international immigration, Statistics Canada reports.
More than 3,300 immigrants moved to Saskatoon during the year covered by the report, with the Philippines, China and Ukraine as the leading countries of origin. International immigration to Saskatoon is higher in sheer numbers than major Canadian cities such as Hamilton and Quebec City, which have historically attracted far more immigrants than all of Saskatchewan, Statistics Canada reports.
The immigration boom can be felt at the many drop-in programs run by the city's settlement agencies.
Petrio Dobushovskyy, 42, moved from Ukraine earlier this month with his wife, Oksana, and his two sons, Yaroslav, 16, and Ivan, 10, and is living in his brother's home until he finds work. On Thursday, he took part in an informal conversations session at Global Gathering Place, a non-profit drop-in centre downtown that was abuzz Thursday afternoon.
A computer programmer, Dobushovskyy is attempting to strengthen his English so he can boost his chances of landing a job. Otherwise, he says he may return to Ukraine. He's considering applying for labour work as an interim measure.
"I want my sons to learn English and go to university here," he said.
Many newcomers have been filling vacancies in entry-level jobs, primarily in the service sector, despite many having experience and credentials in medicine or engineering.
That's creating a dilemma for policy-makers because it's one of the main ways young aboriginal people can break into the labour market, Howe said.
"Many aboriginal people are coming off of three generations of welfare dependency and need entry-level jobs. If you give entrylevel jobs to someone else, they're not going to get them. Finding jobs for new immigrants is important, but it's also very important that we have entry-level jobs for young aboriginal people. That's where they're going to work if they're going to work, at least at first," he said.
The statistics on age revealed in the report are the most startling.
As the average age across Canada has jumped, Saskatoon's and Regina's average age has increased only slightly. High birth rates among the aboriginal population and the arrival of young families migrating from outside the country are cited as the main reasons Saskatchewan stayed young relative to the rest of Canada.
Saskatoon's average age is 35.6, Statistics Canada says, less than a year older than it was in 2001. The average age in Canada has increased 2.5 years to almost 40 since that time, while Saguenay, Que., has jumped more than 5.5 years to an average age of 45 and now ranks as the oldest metropolitan area in Canada.
The aboriginal population will make up 25 per cent of the 20 to 30 age group in Saskatoon in five years, Howe projects, and finding policies aimed at that group is the province's "defining problem," he said.
"There's nothing wrong in Saskatoon that can't be cured by what's right in Saskatoon," he said.
"But we'll have to work at it."

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Landing a job in Calgary

Downtown Calgary seen from Edworthy ParkImage via WikipediaSource:

Calgarians are changing.
Not so long ago, Calgary was known as a city of Caucasians wearing cowboy hats and shit-kickers. Slowly, gradually, it is developing into a multicultural metropolis.
But for the thousands of immigrants who increasingly call Calgary home, moving to Canada and planting roots is hard work. The hard work starts with the application process to get permission to move to Canada, which can take years; the trials and tribulations continue when immigrants arrive on Canadian soil. Doctors, engineers and other professionals often have an incredibly difficult time obtaining certificates, training and experience recognized by Canadian companies and government. Along with the stresses of adapting to a foreign environment, many immigrants are forced to take minimum-wage jobs, often part-time, to make ends meet. And too often immigrants get frustrated with jumping through bureaucratic hoops and obstacles; of the many immigrants who apply to come to Canada, few truly comprehend the arduous journey ahead.
For Pramod Kumar, it has taken seven years, two cities, hundreds of job applications and plenty of personal struggles to find success in his adoptive city of Calgary.
Born in central India, Kumar studied agriculture and received a master’s degree in plant breeding and genetics. For two years, he worked at the Indian Agriculture Research Institute. Given the opportunity to continue his education in his chosen field, Kumar came to Canada to attend the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.
When he left school, he quickly realized that landing an agricultural job wasn’t going to be easy.
“After graduating I was trying to get a good job. I started working for a small consulting firm and then because of a shortage of work I was laid off,” he says. “Then I kept applying for several jobs, but because I didn’t have farm experience here in Canada I couldn’t get a job in my field.”
Two years ago Kumar moved to Calgary, hoping that a bigger city and a more developed business community would help his employment situation.
“I have applied for 300 jobs and got maybe two interview calls,” he says.
Refusing to give up on agriculture, Kumar started his own business, AgriClaim Canada Inc. He enrolled in a self-employment program through Meyers Norris Penny, which provides a wide range of business advisory services, and received startup funding from the Canadian Youth Business Foundation.
“My main business is farm consulting but I also specialize in plant breeding, so I thought of offering some unique services. One of them is intellectual property protection, which is plant breeders’ rights,” says Kumar.
With a handful of clients and a lot of potential, Kumar’s company is slowly growing; he has hired a full-time employee and recently received a grant from the federal government to further develop a portal that allows farmers, plant breeders and consultants to easily communicate and exchange information.
Kumar’s wife, Sonika, moved from India to Canada in 2005, and now, with a daughter, Anya, in kindergarten and a newborn baby girl, Prisha, the future looks brighter for the couple.
“Calgary is a very business-friendly city. I found it much better than Saskatoon because it is a larger business community. There are all kinds of company headquarters here which may help in the future,” he says. “Some of the people have started recognizing my services or my name at least.”
According to Statistics Canada, in 1997 about 4,000 immigrants moved to Calgary. In 2007 that number had jumped to more than 14,000, and last year more than 18,000 immigrants came to Calgary. Fariborz Birjandian, executive director of the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society, points out that Calgary receives almost twice as many immigrants as Edmonton, and there are more temporary workers per capita in Calgary than any other city in Canada. “Calgary has become a city of choice,” he says.
A 2009 report by Calgary Economic Development called The Changing Profile of Calgary’s Workforce says that immigrants represent 25.3 per cent of Calgary’s labour force. “This large segment grew by 41.9 per cent from 2001 to 2006,” the report states. “The group [was] comprised of 178,700 workers in 2006, an increase of over 52,800 workers from 2001.”
There are two main reasons for immigrants to move to Calgary, says Mae Chun, an employment bridging officer with Immigrant Services Calgary (ISC). “One is if they have friends and family here — if they have that, it is usually the deciding factor,” she says. “In absence of that, it will be for economic reasons because a lot of immigrants, in my opinion… whether they come from South America, China or Indonesia, they come here with a lot of oil and gas experience, which makes Calgary the logical place for them to begin.”
Born and raised in India, Vijay Panchmatia moved to Calgary in August 2009, mainly to land a job. With a background in transportation and freight, he had worked in Dubai in the freight industry, shipping goods and equipment for many oil conglomerates.
Realizing similarities between Calgary and Dubai, Panchmatia decided to move here after visiting a few Canadian cities.
After applying for 46 jobs, which produced only two phone interviews, Panchmatia realized he needed help. He was applying for positions he felt he was far more than qualified for, yet he was alarmed that he wasn’t getting work. So, he tapped into services and programs offered by the various governments.
“It’s been very interesting, but the biggest thing I like to say is that the government support for immigrants is massive, it is so huge. There are so many different agencies for support,” he says. “I know of more than 32 agencies in this city alone.”
One simple initiative is, a Calgary Economic Development website that provides basic information for immigrants starting out in Calgary. Another program, Momentum, teaches new Calgarians to use computers, and helps them with financing (borrowing and repaying business loans) and to secure meaningful employment. Other groups help with coping skills, interview skills and pair new immigrants with mentors in their chosen business fields.
Tapping into an ISC program, Panchmatia was partnered with a mentor who regularly coached him and advised him which companies he should send job applications to.
He ended up applying for a position as a shift manager with FedEx — a job he thought he was overqualifed for, but his mentor told him to apply anyway. The advice paid off, as Panchmatia ended up getting a higher, better-paid position — services manager — that was not publicly advertised, but FedEx officials recognized his skills and experience. Now that Panchmatia has settled into a job, he plans to bring his wife from India to Calgary.
The hardships and challenges faced by so many immigrants coming to Calgary start long before they leave their birth countries.
It often takes years for a foreigner to go through the tedious bureaucratic process to get the proper papers to migrate to Canada. The recent recession and rise in unemployment hasn’t helped much.
“The downturn came very quickly,” says Chun. “It was a sharp drop. It took a lot of people by surprise.”
For many recent immigrants, it has been a shock to arrive in Calgary and discover the economy isn’t as robust as they were originally led to believe.
“The first group that is impacted are the most recent arrivals,” says Birjandian, adding many come with education and job experience, but they end up working for minimum wage in the retail, food and hospitality industries.
One problem that causes major confusion and frustration is misinformation about employment opportunities. Prior to leaving their birth counties, many immigrants are told their job experience and certification will be recognized in Canada.
“When you come here, all your past education and experience is discounted,” says Panchmatia, who learned the hard way. “And for that you’re not prepared. This is where the support system in Canada is trying to bridge that gap. If this information is freely available to the people [immigrants], they can prepare for it.”
This has been a sticking point for years — something Alberta government officials say they are trying to fix.
“We want immigration composed of immigrants who are linked to the workforce,” says Alberta Employment and Immigration Minister Thomas Lukaszuk.
The government recognizes that immigration is necessary for the province, but Alberta wants to attract skilled, experienced workers, says Lukaszuk. Government officials, he says, are working on making it easier for immigrants to have their certifications recognized, particularly in the medical, dental and engineering professions.
“Usually they talk in very general terms,” Chun says of governments, “but in practise they are only fast-tracking certain professions and for the majority, it’s still the same long process. As far as I am concerned, it is not changing fast enough.”
Lukaszuk agrees with Chun. “A great deal of headway has been made, but we have a long way to go,” he says.
So, for now, some of the best and brightest immigrants will continue to hit stumbling blocks in getting their foreign experience and education recognized.
“You need to be above-average in your field of industry,” says Panchmatia. “Every immigrant is above-average in their field in their country or else they do not qualify. The people that come here are the crème de la crème.”
It often takes years for newly landed immigrants to develop the Canadian skills and experience they need to secure jobs in their chosen fields. Until that point, many have to take jobs — any jobs — to survive and pay the bills.
The key to success, says Kumar, is to have an open mind.
“My advice is to make use of all the resources because there are resources available everywhere,” he says. “If you need specific training, there is training available. Focus on what you want to do and get appropriate training and maybe some work experience.”

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Record number of workers in Saskatchewan: Statistics Canada

Galleria Building at Innovation Place Research...Image via Wikipedia
A record number of people are working in Saskatchewan.
According to Statistics Canada, 539,700 people were working in the province in June, and increase of 4,100 from June 2009.
Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate of 5.5 per cent is the second lowest in Canada. Manitoba holds the lowest at 5.3 per cent. The national average is 7.9 per cent.
Advanced Education, Employment and Immigration Minister Rob Norris says record population and employment shows Saskatchewan is still the place to be for people looking for work.
“Looking forward, we continue to see economic forecasters placing Saskatchewan among the nation’s leaders this year and beyond,” Norris said in a news release.
Regina’s unemployment rate of 4.3 per cent is the lowest among major Canadian cities. Saskatoon is fourth-lowest at 5.8 per cent.
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Manitoba immigration program a huge success

Manitoba Province within Canada.Image via Wikipedia
More Than 13,500 People Chose to Settle in Manitoba in 2009 Under Province's Immigration Initiative: Selinger
The province's successful immigration program has attracted the highest number of new Manitobans since the start of modern record keeping in 1946, Premier Greg Selinger announced today.
"Manitoba's immigration initiative has been very successful, not only because more and more newcomers are coming to Manitoba, but because the settlement and language-training assistance being offered are helping them succeed," said Selinger. "Evidence consistently demonstrates that Manitoba's immigrants experience one of the highest employment rates and lowest unemployment rates in Canada."
Manitoba welcomed 13,520 immigrants in 2009, an increase of more than 20 per cent from 2008 when 11,218 people settled in the province, surpassing the previous record of 11,614 in 1957. Prior to 1946, Canada's immigration records were not broken down by individual provinces. 
Preliminary figures also show that Winnipeg received nearly 10,000 immigrants in 2009, more than Edmonton, Ottawa and Hamilton and more than Quebec City, Regina, Saskatoon, Victoria, Fredericton and Red Deer combined. Manitoba regional communities also welcomed more immigrants in 2009.
Compared with 2008, Manitoba provincial nominees increased by 27 per cent, with more than 75 per cent of permanent residents coming through the Provincial Nominee Program.  In 2009, the majority of immigrants came from the Philippines, Germany, China, India and Israel.
Preliminary figures also show that Manitoba received 3,214 immigrants in the first three months of 2010, an increase of 11.9 per cent over the same period last year.
Today's announcement was made at the offices of the ENTRY program, an orientation and language program for newcomers. The program was launched by the province in 2004 and is the first place for new immigrants to learn about living in Manitoba, said the premier.  
Selinger also announced $415,546 in additional funding for ENTRY to support increased participation in the program.  Participation increased to 4,131 students in 2009 from 1,390 in 2005.  The new funding will bring total support to ENTRY to nearly $1.4 million in 2010-11, a 42 per cent increase over the previous year.
"Manitoba is making tremendous strides in increasing its population through immigration," said Selinger. "Looking past the numbers, you also see the real success of our immigration initiatives and the positive effects newcomers are having on our economy and communities."
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