Saskatchewan unemployment rate lowest in Canada for eighth straight month

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Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate has been the lowest in the country for the eighth month in a row according to new figures released by Statistics Canada today. In August 2013, the unemployment rate in the province was 4.2 per cent, well below the 7.1 per cent posted nationally.

There were 564,900 people employed in the province last month, a record for the month of August and an increase of 15,800 or 2.9 per cent over the past 12 months. Saskatchewan ranked second among the provinces in terms of percentage gains.

“Saskatchewan’s a great place to be right now with a strong economy, great job opportunities and an attractive destination for investors,” Minister responsible for Energy and Resources Tim McMillan said on behalf of Economy Minister Bill Boyd. “Large employment gains in manufacturing, health care and social assistance show the diversity of the Saskatchewan economy is truly its strength.”

Off-reserve Aboriginal employment was up by 5,100 (12.9 per cent) compared to the same time last year. That’s seven consecutive months of year-over-year increases. Aboriginal youth employment was also up by 1,500, the third consecutive month of year-over-year increases.

“Nearly one third of the new jobs were filled by First Nations and Métis people,” Boyd said. “We still have a ways to go but that’s a strong step in the right direction.”

The number of young people working aged 15 to 24 is up by 4,800 from this time last year. And at 7.2 per cent, the youth unemployment rate is the lowest in the country and well below the 14.1 per cent national rate.

Other highlights include:

- Labour force reached an all-time high of 594,800;

- Full-time employment reached a record high of 477,800 for the month of August;

- Regina had the lowest unemployment rate among major Canadian cities at 2.9 per cent and Saskatoon had the second lowest unemployment rate at 4.3 per cent;

- The sectors with the largest employment gains compared to August 2012 were health care and social assistance (+6,700), manufacturing (+5,600).

“Today’s job numbers reflect that Saskatchewan continues to be the best place to live and work in Canada,” McMillan said.

Organizations: Statistics Canada

Geographic location: Saskatchewan

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