2016 was a year of adjustment for the Saskatoon Region economy. Coming off several years of extraordinary growth, we saw some challenges in the energy sector, reduced commodity prices and a slowdown in the construction industry. However, overall the Saskatoon Region economy continued to demonstrate strength and resilience throughout the year, with several economic indicators pointing to stability, and in some cases, modest growth.
When compared to key national economic indicators, the Saskatoon Region economy is faring well, especially in terms of population growth and labour market indicators. In fact, the Saskatoon Region outperforms the national average on population growth, labour force growth, participation rate, employment rate and unemployment rate. This comparison shows the Saskatoon Region continues to be a first-rate location to live, work and prosper.
In 2016 SREDA generated an economic impact of $48.5 million and an ROI of 25:1.The SREDA team successfully executed many new initiatives to strengthen and grow the Saskatoon Region economy. A highlight for the year was being awarded the Economic Developers Association of Canada (EDAC) President’s Cup for our efforts in marketing the Saskatoon Region.
As we venture into 2017, SREDA looks forward to a period of more moderate growth, but growth nonetheless. The diversity of our local economy will provide stability and create new opportunities for growth. SREDA is forecasting GDP growth of 2% for 2017 and we expect to continue to see increases in both population and employment. SREDA’s focus for 2017 will continue to be strengthening and growing the local economy by attracting new businesses, helping local companies grow, supporting entrepreneurship, marketing the Saskatoon Region, providing economic analysis and leading regional economic development and planning.
I hope we all continue to remember that regardless of the ups and downs of the economy we are lucky to live and work in an amazing city with a truly diversified economy, strong entrepreneurial spirit and bright outlook for the future.
President and CEO, SREDA