Sask. unemployment rate drops again in May, inches towards pre-pandemic level

in Jun 05, 2021

Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.3 per cent in May, the lowest in the country, according to Statistics Canada’s latest Labour Force Survey.

“It really is a testament to the degrees of compliance we’ve seen not only from individuals but also from the business community,” said Career Training Minister Jeremy Harrison on Friday.

“Businesses particularly have done a diligent job in following public health guidelines and because of that, they’ve been able to operate through this entire period of time, and that has very real impacts.”

Unemployment in Saskatchewan is down from 6.6 per cent in April. Employment grew by 4,100 jobs in May.

Nationally, though, unemployment rose from 8.1 per cent to 8.2 per cent from April to May, while the country lost 68,000 jobs over the period.

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Saskatchewan employment levels are inching towards pre-pandemic levels. The province’s seasonally adjusted employment has recovered to 98.4 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

That recovery rate ranks fourth in the country, according to the provincial government.

“I would say we’re going to continue to see growth here. There are going to be month-to-month fluctuations. There always are,” Harrison said.

“But I think the overall macro picture of having the lowest unemployment rate in the country coupled with what is going to be very strong private sector investment into the province is going to mean we have an improving jobs picture going forward.”

A number of significant private investments in Saskatchewan have been announced recently.

Earlier this week, Red Leaf Pulp ltd. announced Regina as the location for a planned $350 million wheat straw pulp mill. The company says the development will create 110 permanent full-time jobs and 250 jobs during construction.

In April, Cargill announced plans for a new canola processing facility in Regina they say will create approximately 50 full-time positions.

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Also this week, Regina-based Brandt announced plans to create more than 1,000 new positions by the end of the year. They say over half of those hires will be made in Saskatchewan.

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