Five reasons why people are flocking to Saskatchewan for work
A growing number of people are moving to Saskatchewan for work. Perhaps you’ve heard of people relocating to Saskatchewan and wondered what’s causing the trend. Well, there’s more than just cold winters and flat prairie land. The high wages, ample job opportunities in various industries, and continuing economic growth are attracting people from all over to pick up and move to Saskatchewan. Here’s a look at just five of the reasons why people are flocking to the province for work.
1. Growth and population
For two years in a row, the fastest growing cities in Canada are on the prairies, according to a new report released by Statistics Canada. It shows that Saskatoon (and its surrounding area) is the second fastest growing city in Canada, with a growth rate of 3.9 per cent in 2013. Regina (and its surrounding area) is the fourth fastest growing city at 3.1 per cent. When it comes to economic growth, The Conference Board of Canada and the Bank of Montreal predict that Saskatchewan will lead the country in 2014. Not only is the province experiencing growth, but it has youth on its side. Saskatoon has youngest population in the country with an average age of 34 and a half, while the median age in Canada is over 40 years old.
At the end of December 2013, Saskatchewan workers’ average weekly salary places third in the country at $966, according to Statistics Canada. This is a 3.6 per cent increase over December 2012 – or around $34. The increase was seen the most in the largest sectors which include construction, manufacturing and retail and wholesale trade. This put Saskatchewan in third place among the provinces for the highest average wage increase in Canada over the past year.
3. Job opportunities
Saskatchewan continues to have the lowest unemployment rate in the country – in February 2014 the rate sat at 3.9 per cent, while Canada’s was seven per cent. Although unemployment rates tend to fluctuate slightly, Saskatchewan’s remains consistently low. The province has had the lowest unemployment rate in Canada since January 2013. On Workopolis alone, there are almost 900 job postings for Saskatchewan, with a wide range of positions in various industries. SaskJobs.ca also has roughly 14,000 jobs available right now.
In the last decade, annual immigration to Saskatchewan has grown from about 1,700 in 2001 to almost 11,200 in 2012. Between 2007 and 2012, the province welcomed almost 43,000 immigrants from 180 countries. But it’s not just people traveling from around the world to live in Saskatchewan. For six consecutive years, Saskatchewan has had more people moving to the province from other parts of Canada than people leaving, with a net interprovincial migration of 2,100 people in 2012, mainly from Ontario and British Columbia.
5. The Graduate Retention Program
The Graduate Retention Program is a refundable and non-refundable income tax credit that refunds up to $20,000 of tuition fees paid by post-secondary graduates who live in Saskatchewan for up to seven years following graduation. The program helps to profile Saskatchewan as a province of choice for post-secondary graduates looking for work.
Angelina Irinici is an award-winning journalist from Saskatoon, Sask. She recently moved back to her home city and is working as a television reporter. She is a graduate of Ryerson University’s journalism school. You can find her on Twitter at @angelinairinici.