Economic Scan - Saskatchewan: 2022

Demographics

Highlights

  • Despite large and younger Indigenous population, Saskatchewan is projected to age over the next 20 years.
  • Saskatchewan working age population (ages 15 to 64) has shrunk from 64.8% in 2016 to 62.8% in 2021.
  • Seniors 65 and over made up 16.7% of province's population in 2021. This number may decrease to 19.2.% in 2043.
  • The proportion of young workers aged 15 to 24 in the province is projected to decrease from 15.4% in 2021 to 14.6% by 2043.
1.2 million people lived in Saskatchewan in 2022, an increase of 1.1% from 2021. Saskatchewan accounts for 3.1% of Canada's total population.

The average age of the province's Indigenous population is 29.6 years. This is 11.7 years younger than for the non-Indigenous population (41.3 years)

The Indigenous population makes up 17.0% of the total population in Saskatchewan. Indigenous employment rate improved in 2022 to 58.9%, but remains 5.8% below that of non-Indigenous population. Saskatchewan's young Indigenous workers, aged 15-24 years, have a particularly low employment rate at 46.2%.

Immigrants account for 14.2% of the total working age population in the province. Immigrant employment rate in Saskatchewan was the largest among Canadian provinces, at 71.4% in 2022. Saskatchewan experienced challenges in retaining recent immigrants. Economic immigrants were particularly difficult to keep in the province.

In 2021, 14.4% of Saskatchewan population was part of a visible minority group. South Asians and Filipinos each made up approximately 4% of the population. The proportion of visible minorities was higher than in Atlantic Canada, but lower than in other provinces.

According to the 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability, 22.1% of Saskatchewan's population, aged 25 to 64 years, had one or more disabilities. The labour force participation rate of peoples with disabilities in the province was at 70.5% and the employment rate was 65.9%. Both were considerably higher than the national average.


Labour Market Conditions

In 2022...

increase

Employment improved (+3.5%)

decrease

Unemployment rate decreased (-1.9 pp)

increase

Participation rate was up (67.6% to 67.8%)

increase

Employment rate rose (63.1% to 64.6%)

Saskatchewan Unemployment Rate

Show data table
Saskatchewan Unemployment Rate
Year Unemployment Rate (%)
2012 4.9
2013 4.2
2014 3.9
2015 5.2
2016 6.4
2017 6.4
2018 6.1
2019 5.5
2020 8.4
2021 6.6
2022 4.7

 


  • In 2022, Saskatchewan made progress in its recovery from COVID-19 pandemic and severe drought conditions of 2021.
  • Unemployment rate in Saskatchewan dropped to 4.7%; well-below the 2019 pre-pandemic rate of 5.5% and lower than national average of 5.3%.
  • Employment improved due to a substantial growth in full-time jobs (+20,100 in 2022). However, part-time employment decreased and remains below pre-pandemic levels.

Economic Conditions

Saskatchewan Economic Drivers in 2022

Robust commodity prices

Increased non-residential capital investment

Strong exports

Forecasted GDP Growth Rate in Saskatchewan


Source : The Conference Board of Canada. Provincial Three-Year Outlook. December 2022.

Show data table
Forecasted GDP Growth Rate in Saskatchewan
Year Forecasted GDP Growth Rate
2022 6.8%
2023 3.6%
2024 2.6%
2025 1.8%

 


  • Saskatchewan had the second-highest year-over-year percentage growth (+22.5%) in non-residential capital expenditures after Yukon.
  • Russia's invasion on Ukraine had a large impact on Saskatchewan's economy as global demand for the province's key commodities, such as potash, fuel, uranium and crops has increased.
  • Robust commodity prices facilitated increased production in the province's resource and manufacturing sectors. BHP accelerated the construction of its $7.5B potash mine in Jansen and work is underway on four major canola crushing projects.
  • After negative GDP growth due to a severe drought in 2021, Saskatchewan's GDP bounced back with an impressive 6.8% growth rate. The province's GDP growth is projected to slow but remain positive.
  • In 2022, Saskatchewan increased its minimum wage from $11.81 to $13 an hour. The province will further increase the minimum wage to $14 in 2023 and $15 in 2024. 

Risks to the Saskatchewan Economy in 2023

  • Dry weather conditions continue having an effect on the province's agriculture industry.
  • As several major projects are underway in the province, companies may have difficulties recruiting.
  • Inflatory pressures may further hamper household spendings.
  • Global economic uncertainty persists due to Russia's war in Ukraine.

Regional Issues

Migration

Since 2013, more people left Saskatchewan to other provinces than migrated in. In 2021/2022, over 15,000 people moved into Saskatchewan, but more than 23,000 left the province. Alberta was the primary destination for people moving out of Saskatchewan, followed by British Columbia and Ontario.


Industry Trends

Employment Growth by Industry, 2022

Show data table
Saskatchewan Employment Growth ('000s)
Industry (NAICS) Employment Growth ('000s)
Health care and social assistance 4.2
Construction 3.9
Wholesale and retail trade 3.3
Accommodation and food services 3.2
Professional, scientific and technical services 2.6
Finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing 2.2
Educational services 2.0
Information, culture and recreation 1.9
Other services (except public administration) 1.8
Transportation and warehousing 1.5
Utilities 0.7
Manufacturing 0.3
Public administration 0.0
Forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas -1.3
Business, building and other support services -3.2
Agriculture -3.2

 


  • While health and social assistance led the province in total employment gains in 2022, most rapid growth occurred in accommodation and food services and utilities industries.
  • Meanwhile, the least growth in 2022 was in business, building and other support services.
  • Employment in agriculture continued recovering from the 2021 drought. The province was able to increase its wheat and canola production in 2022 and the industry is projected to further recover given better weather conditions.
  • Despite employment decline in forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas, the industry's outlook is promising with multiple projects under way.


Regional Economic Conditions

  • Unemployment levels decreased across all regions in Saskatchewan. The largest improvement was recorded in the Saskatoon-Biggar region, with an unemployment decrease from 6.9% in 2021 to just 4.3% in 2022.
  • Saskatoon-Biggar also headlined the province in employment growth, with 16,800 jobs added in 2022.
  • Employment increased in the Yorkton-Melville region and Regina-Moose Mountain. Meanwhile, employment decreased in Swift Current-Moose Jaw region and Prince Albert and Northern.

Employment Growth by Economic Region, 2022

Show data table
Saskatchewan Employment Growth (%)
Economic Region Employment Growth (%)
Saskatoon-Biggar 8.5
Yorkton-Melville 6.2
Saskatchewan 3.5
Regina-Moose Mountain 1.1
Swift Current-Moose Jaw -0.4
Prince Albert and Northern -0.9

 


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