Saskatchewan’s pre 2005 unemployment rate hid labour force issue

Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate has traditionally been one of the better ones in Canada, but this hid a labour force issue for several years.  All of the below data is from Statistics Canada.

Here are the provincial and national unemployment rates for the past 35-years (these are the annual averages for each).

Avg annual unemployemnt rates - all 1980-2015

To make it easier, here are the Canadian, Albert, and Saskatchewan ones only:

Avg annual unemployemnt rates - Cdn AB SK 1980-2015

Over the past few years, Saskatchewan has had the lowest rate in Canada, but has recently lost that crown to Manitoba and British Columbia.  Hopefully, with increasing oil prices we will regain the crown.

These are the recent monthly unemployment rates:

Monthly unemployemnt rates - Cdn MB SK MB Jan 2006 - Apr 2016

But, this traditionally low unemployment rate masked an underlying issue that has been corrected.  Saskatchewan’s labour force did not grow for about 20-years – it was almost flat.  So our unemployment rate was symbolic of a balanced system not a sign of growth.

SK labour force size 1980-2015

It wasn’t until 2005 that our labour force began to grow – a piece of data that was masked by a traditionally low unemployment rate.

About prosperitysaskatchewan

Consultant on Saskatchewan's natural resources.

Posted on June 9, 2016, in economic impact, miscellaneous. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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