While national employment numbers fell in April as a result of a third wave of COVID-19, Saskatchewan saw growth in employment. According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses’ Business Barometer, business confidence has also been trending higher. Overall, April marks three straight months of job recovery for the Saskatoon Region and four straight months of positive growth for the province.
The Saskatoon CMA recovered 2,000 jobs in April. Labour market recovery rose to 80.1% of jobs that were lost during March and April 2020, compared to 70.6% in March, and the unemployment rate trended lower to 7.7% – down from 8.2% in March.
Saskatchewan recovered 9,500 jobs in April. The unemployment rate moved lower to 6.6%, with 2,000 recovered full time positions and 8,000 recovered part-time positions. In the goods-producing sectors, employment growth was driven by agriculture, construction and manufacturing. The services-producing sector saw gains primarily in finance, insurance and real estate; professional, scientific and technical services; educational services; and health care and social assistance.
With COVID-19 vaccination efforts ramping up and pharmacies across Saskatchewan joining other vaccination clinics, the labour market is expected to continue to recover steadily as we head into summer. Moreover, as the province looks towards May 30 for the first step in its re-opening plan, consumer and business confidence should continue to rise, so long as cases remain relatively stable.