August 27, 2014
Saskatchewan continues to be a leader in economic growth with more people, more jobs and higher wages than ever before. Driven by the confidence and continued contributions of our people, this growth is reflected in the latest labour force survey by Statistics Canada.
Comparing July 2013 to July 2014, there were 10,600 new full-time jobs in Saskatchewan, our youth unemployment rate was lowest among the provinces at half the national average, and there was noticeable decline in Aboriginal unemployment.
Our province’s 3.2 per cent unemployment rate, our lowest since Stats Canada started recording employment data in 1976, was lower than every other province as well as 49 of 50 American states. This is a good indication that our economy is on the right track.
There is more work to do, particularly in terms of education and skills training, if we are going to address the labour market challenges that exist in our province. Addressing that particular need, the Government of Canada and Government of Saskatchewan recently signed two agreements that will help develop the skilled workforce we need going forward.
Through The Canada-Saskatchewan Job Grant, Saskatchewan businesses can invest in training to equip workers with the skills they need to prosper in today’s economy. Designed to be flexible enough to meet the needs of all businesses, this will provide employers with up to $10,000 for training costs for an individual worker, including tuition and training materials.
Currently, there are more than 14,000 available jobs listed online at saskjobs.ca. The Canada-Saskatchewan Job Grant will work to help our people and businesses with their personal and professional growth while helping our province and, in turn, all Saskatchewan people succeed. You can learn more about the job grant online at economy.gov.sk.ca/job-grant.
Under the new Canada–Saskatchewan Labour Market Agreement for Persons with Disabilities, the Government of Canada will provide more than $10.8 million per year to Saskatchewan, a contribution that will be matched by the province. With increased employer involvement and a stronger focus on demonstrating the best possible results, the new agreement will better connect people living with disabilities with the jobs that are available to them.
Our government’s growth agenda is focused on a better quality of life for all Saskatchewan people. Our Growth Plan, which sets out our vision for a province of 1.2 million people by 2020, identifies the principles, goals and actions to ensure Saskatchewan is capturing opportunities and meeting the challenges of a growing province. Affordable housing is a key part of this plan.
A new agreement with the Government of Canada will help more individuals and families in need access affordable housing. Over the next five years, an additional $91.9 million will be delivered through an extension to the Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH) Agreement.
The previous $55.14 million IAH agreement (2011-2014) was used to build 631 residential units, repairing another 1,103 across the province. The agreement provides flexibility in deciding how we decide to allocate this investment, according to our local needs and priorities. In part, thanks to investments by the federal government, since 2011, our government has invested $326 million to develop more than 5,600 units and repair more than 24,300 homes.
Affordability is the focus of the Saskatchewan Transportation Company’s September Seat Sale. The promotion gives seniors, age 60 and over, the option of riding anywhere STC travels for just $15 one-way. Not only is this a convenient, comfortable and environmentally-friendly way to travel, seniors can save a substantial amount of money. Tickets can be purchased at any STC agency through the month of September.