Even with the slowing energy sector here in the province, Saskatchewan continues to display impressive job growth numbers. So impressive in fact, February gained 9,000 jobs, that represents a record number of jobs for the month of February.
Alastair MacFadden, deputy minister for the ministry of immigration and career training, walks through the numbers.
"In the province of Saskatchewan the job numbers were up 9,000 on a year-over-year basis, this February marked the seventh straight month that we have seen an increase of jobs in the province. There were both more full-time and part-time jobs that were reported. The unemployment rate in Saskatchewan was 5.8 per cent in February which is right on par with the national average."
With the increase in job numbers reported, one correlation one might expect to see is a drop in the number of people claiming EI benefits.
According to MacFadden, the number of EI beneficiaries in the region has decreased since 2017. In December 2018 the number of regular EI beneficiaries declined by 30 per cent in some areas.
While the province is seeing a loss when it comes to jobs related to the energy sector, the province is making gains in other areas.
"We got significant growth in jobs related to healthcare and social assistance, this is a province with an aging population but also a high birthrate and so that creates demands on those kinds of supports. We have seen growth in agriculture, where productivity and production is strong. We have also seen growth in finance, insurance, real estate, and leasing in Saskatchewan on a year over year basis."
MacFadden also explained that statistics don't tell the whole story.
"The unemployment rate was 5.8 per cent in February which is the same as the national average but that does nothing to speak to the personal experience. So I don't want to diminish what its been like for workers and for families and even employers who are experiencing an economic downturn, the global commodity prices and trade uncertainty is causing some economic headwinds for the whole province and it is having a direct impact on workers in some sectors."