Saskatchewan Lures Workers During Recession

If you are looking for a job, Saskatchewan is the place to look! While the rest of Canada has seen declining jobs in inclining unemployment numbers, Saskatchewan has been facing a labour shortage. On February 20th, 2009 Rob Norns, Saskatchewan’s labour minister, stated “The message is clear: Saskatchewan is a land of opportunity”. The numbers tell much of the story and that most of North America has seen its unemployment numbers go up while Saskatchewan is bucking the trend. According to Statistics Canada, Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate dropped slightly from 4.2% in December, 2008 to 4.1% in January, 2009. While Ontario was losing 71,000 jobs and Quebec was losing 25,000 jobs, Saskatchewan added 1600 jobs during the same period.

Unemployment rates are high across the country with even British Columbia hitting 6% (Quebec is at 7.7%, Ontario 8%) but Saskatchewan has significantly lower unemployment rates.

We have lost workers to stronger economies in the past, but now Saskatchewan is focusing on getting our expats to come back. Our real estate in Saskatoon has hit the high and has now dropped to more acceptable and easier to digest prices.

But, don’t just pick up and move here to any old town. It is important to consider, when looking to move to some of the stronger economic provinces like Saskatchewan and Manitoba, if a community has enough things going for them. You don’t want to go to a town that only has one industry; a diversified local economy is important. One also needs to consider cost and quality of living. I can say that real estate in Saskatchewan, and more specifically, real estate in Saskatoon, is not cheap by any means, but we have seen the huge increase in prices followed by a decrease and now we are at a leveling out place that is much more affordable for people to buy a house in Saskatoon. Houses in Saskatoon are hopefully going to see another increase in price, but this may not happen until about 2010 as we have a lot of excess inventory to clean up.

But also consider, if you have been used to real estate prices in Victoria or Vancouver, you will be pleasantly surprised by the real estate prices in Saskatoon.

I expect we will see many more out of province people moving to Saskatchewan in the next year. Even though the international economic climate is so volatile we are monitoring the situation despite, at the moment, being one of the best provinces to weather the economic storm.

Kari Calder
Saskatoon Real Estate Agent
Century 21 Conexus Realty Ltd.

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