Blog Archives

Number of people working and earnings up in Saskatchewan

September 25, 2014
The number of people working in Saskatchewan was up 1.9% from July 2013 to July 2014
The average weekly earnings in Saskatchewan was up 2.8% from July 2013 to July 2014
 Employees 1 Sept 2014
Employees 2 Sept 2014
 Earnings Sept 2014 1 Earnings Sept 2014 2

Saskatchewan upgraded to AAA Credit Rating

September 23, 2014

From Brad Wall’s Facebook page:


“Saskatchewan’s financial position is strong. We now have the highest possible credit rating with both major rating agencies.”

AAA credit rating



Released on September 23, 2014

Saskatchewan’s retail trade was thriving in July according to a new report released by Statistics Canada today.  Retail trade was $1.6 billion in July 2014, the highest ever for the month of July, up 5.4 per cent over last year (seasonally adjusted).
“We have a versatile retail sector in Saskatchewan, and a consumer base that is confident about our economy,” Economy Minister Bill Boyd said.  “It sets the stage for more purchases, large and small, and is good news for retailers.”
Retail sales improved on a month-over-month basis as well, rising 1.1 per cent in July – ahead of the 0.1 per cent decline recorded nationally.
“July’s increases were mainly because of a rise in new vehicle sales – and it’s encouraging to see Saskatchewan people have the means and the confidence to purchase a new car or truck,” Boyd said.  “Retail trade has made positive gains so far in 2014 which is great for retailers and definitely helps to keep our economy moving forward.”
For more information, contact:
Deb Young Economy Regina Phone: 306-787-6315 Email:

Saskatchewan cities attractive to newcomers, climb national ranking: study

Saskatchewan cities attractive to newcomers, climb national ranking: study
By Scott Larson
The StarPhoenix
September 18, 2014
Strong economies have helped Regina and Saskatoon become more appealing to immigrants, according to a new report. The Conference Board of Canada’s City Magnets III: Benchmarking the Attractiveness of 50 Canadian Cities saw Regina place eighth and Saskatoon place 12th.
The Conference Board of Canada’s City Magnets III: Benchmarking the Attractiveness of 50 Canadian Cities saw Regina place eighth and Saskatoon place 12th.
Alan Arcand, associate director of the Centre for Municipal Studies, said both cities have seen sizable increases in newcomers as the local economies have improved.
“Saskatchewan’s resources have fostered rapid growth in Saskatoon and Regina,” Arcand said.
Regina and Saskatoon scored ‘B’ grades for attractiveness.
The report analyzes and benchmarks the features that make Canadian cities attractive to newcomer populations. The performance of these cities is compared on 43 indicators grouped into seven categories: society, health, economy, environment, education, innovation and housing. Data is based on the 2011 Census and National Household Survey.
“It is mostly (because of) the economy for Saskatchewan,” said Conference Board economist Greg Sutherland. “Saskatoon and Regina both scored an ‘A’ on the economy.”
Regina led all 50 cities in economic growth, while Saskatoon trailed narrowly behind in third. Despite their sizable increases in newcomers, both cities still scored relatively poorly in foreign-born population and evidence of multiculturalism.
Regina does well in environment and innovation, but scored low in health and housing, Sutherland said.
“Access to specialists or general practitioners was on the low side,” he said.
Saskatoon scored well on environment and had a better health rating than Regina.
The top 13 cities were Waterloo, Calgary, Ottawa, Richmond Hill, Vancouver, St. John’s, Nfld., Edmonton, Regina, Burnaby, B.C., Markham, Ont., Victoria, Saskatoon and Toronto.
The top six offer a unique combination of attributes that add up to a great place to live, the report said.
The bottom five cities were all from Ontario — Barrie, St. Catharines, Brantford, Cambridge and Oshawa — mostly because of the decline in manufacturing in those areas.
“A struggling manufacturing sector has really hurt them,” Sutherland said.
“They tend to have a less educated population. They don’t rank well in the society category either.”
© Copyright (c) The StarPhoenix

Saskatchewan’s population could top 1.5 million people by 2038


Released on September 17, 2014

Saskatchewan’s population could top 1.5 million people by 2038, according to a new report released today by Statistics Canada.
StatsCan issues its population projections every five years, outlining seven possible scenarios for population growth in Canada and the provinces.  Its projections for Saskatchewan range from the province having a population of anywhere from 1,174,000 people to 1,527,000 people by 2038.  The lower growth projections are based on population trends dating back to Saskatchewan’s zero-growth period of the 1990s and early 2000s, while the higher growth scenarios are based on Saskatchewan’s strong population growth trends in recent years.
Premier Brad Wall said he believes the strong growth scenarios are more likely, based on the experience in Saskatchewan in the past few years.
“Saskatchewan is strong and growing,” Wall said.  “These projections show we are expected to keep growing and that’s a good thing.  There are many challenges that come with growth, but I would rather deal with those than the challenges of decline our province was facing just a few short years ago.”
Wall noted that when Statistics Canada issued its population projections in 2005, four of the six scenarios saw Saskatchewan actually losing population over the next 25 years.  Even the most optimistic scenario at the time saw Saskatchewan growing to just 1,064,000 people by 2031.  Today, there are more than 1,120,000 people living in the province.
“Saskatchewan has now grown by more than 120,000 people in just the past seven years,” Wall said.  “Today, the least optimistic projection shows stronger growth than the most optimistic one just a decade ago.  Things have changed a lot in Saskatchewan.”
Wall said the government will continue working hard to keep Saskatchewan strong and meeting the challenges of growth.
For more information, contact:
Karen Hill Executive Council Regina Phone: 306-787-2127 Email: Cell: 306-529-9207

Lower taxes boost income growth in Saskatchewan

Lower taxes boost income growth in Saskatchewan
By Bruce Johnstone
The Leader-Post
September 15, 2014
Chart below added to story from Brad Wall’s Facebook page Sept 16, 2014
Income Sept 2014
REGINA — Incomes in Saskatchewan are growing more quickly than in most other provinces, thanks largely to lower income taxes, according to the latest report from Sask Trends Monitor, a Regina-based monthly statistical newsletter.
“In 2012, gross income for the average Saskatchewan tax filer increased more quickly than inflation for the tenth year in a row,” Sask Trends Monitor said.
“Higher employment earnings bolstered by more income from investments were the reason. Saskatchewan’s tax rate is lower than in most other provinces so
much of the income growth has translated into higher after-tax incomes.”
Based on data derived from personal income returns, Saskatchewan taxfilers saw their average income increase by 2.7 per cent annually from 2002 to 2012 — second-highest next to Newfoundland and Labrador at 2.9 per cent and ahead of Alberta at 2.1 per cent, the report said.
The average gross income per Saskatchewan taxfiler in 2012 (the most recent year for which data was available) was $45,400, good for second place among the provinces, behind Alberta at $57,100 and ahead of Ontario at $44,800. The Canadian average was $43,900 in 2012.
“The average (Saskatchewan) income overtook the B.C. average in 2009 and the Ontario average in 2012 to reach second place after Alberta.”
Doug Elliott, publisher of Sask Trends Monitor, said he wasn’t surprised by Saskatchewan’s strong income growth during the 2002-2012 period, but was surprised by the reasons for the above-average increases in income.
“The effective tax rates are an odd (thing),’’ Elliott said. “As your income goes up, your taxes go are supposed to go up, but ours haven’t really,” Elliott said.
While the average taxfiler in Saskatchewan paid more taxes in 2012 ($7,500) than 2002 ($5,700), the average income tax paid as a percentage of average gross income actually declined slightly to 16.3 per cent in 2012 from 16.5 per cent in 2002.
“This is mainly because the provincial income tax rate of 5.9 per cent is below the rates in most other provinces,” the report said. The Canadian average provincial income tax rate is 6.3 per cent, ranging from a low of 4.3 per cent in B.C. and a high of 8.2 per cent in Quebec.
“So I think (Premier Brad) Wall can take some credit for the fact that, in spite of the rapid growth in incomes, our actual taxes haven’t increased all that much.” In fact, Saskatchewan has the fifth lowest effective income tax rates among the provinces.
Investment income almost doubled from $1,500 in 2002 to close to $3,000 in 2012, also helping to boost incomes, the report said.
© Copyright (c) The Regina Leader-Post

Saskatoon high-priced land deals rise

16 Sep 2014
The StarPhoenix
High-priced land deals rise
Costs mirror Saskatoon’s growth
The average price of rural land in the Saskatoon vicinity has increased by as much as 165 per cent in the past seven years.
“The primary reason for the rise in price is that developers are securing a majority share in areas that will allow them to design and service new subdivisions over the next year or so,” says Tom McClocklin, president and managing director of Colliers International Saskatchewan.
Colliers International has compiled a report that shows “speculators and developers alike have been positioning themselves throughout the rural municipality to ensure they make short- or longterm investments that capitalize on the unprecedented growth Saskatchewan has experienced over the past decade.”
The report said land that has an extended holding period between 10 and 20 years commands sale prices between $10,000 and $20,000 an acre. Sales in this category include potential industrial developments or other commercial developments that have exposure to traffic and ease of access.
“Since 2007, there have been approximately 700 land sales over 10 acres in size in the Rural Municipality of Corman Park,” the report said.
Municipalities around Regina reported about 380 transactions in the same period.
The peak for Saskatoon was in 2007 with 190 deals of more than 10 acres while Regina’s peak was in 2011 with 104 transactions.
The highest prices were paid on lands that were annexed by the city or expected to become part of the city in the near future, the report said.
Land earmarked for residential development in the next five to 10 years had prices in the $20,000-$35,000 an acre range, with a few going as high as $50,000 an acre.
In both the Saskatoon and Regina areas, the overall value of rural land has increased by 150 to 165 per cent in the last seven years.
“There has been tremendous amount of activity over that time,” McClocklin said. “The more certainty there is to development and the sooner it (will be developed) then the higher the price.”
The City of Saskatoon has been the biggest buyer in the RM of Corman Park, having bought more than 3,700 acres for a total value of $44 million. Dream Realty Corp. (formerly Dundee) has acquired more than 2,000 acres for a total of $36 million.
Colliers’ research analyst Duncan Mayer said most of Dream’s acquisitions have in the new Holmwood subdivision that will accommodate 74,000 people and two million square feet of commercial space.
The report said most of the city’s purchases are for future residential subdivisions in the West (Kensington) the Northeast (Evergreen/ Ridge), along with future industrial developments located due north of Saskatoon.
And the bedroom communities around Saskatoon and Regina have also seen a rise in the number and prices of land acquisitions.
“Land surrounding the City of Warman, for example, has transacted on average for $25,000 an acre,” the report said.
That kind of activity is a far car from a decade or so ago when the few sales that occurred were centred around land devoted to agriculture.
For example, McClocklin said about a dozen years ago Colliers helped sell land just outside the city (now within the city) for a family from Vancouver who had held it for more than 40 years.
“They sold it for the same price that they bought it for,” McClocklin said, “and they were happy to get their money back.”
Lately, the number of sales in the Saskatoon area has been tapering off. Mayer said some of that has to do with the uncertainty of what is next for Saskatoon and the surrounding communities.
Corman Park, Saskatoon, Warman, Martensville and Osler are currently looking at development plans to best determine growth over the next 20-50 years.
The report said whatever is decided will greatly affect land prices and the number of transactions.
“It places a lot of uncertainty in the local market so you are not seeing as many transactions,” Mayer said.

Saskatchewan average incomes

The ‘SaskTrends Monitor’ August 2014 issue has the usual great commentary and charts – this issue has several regarding Saskatchewan incomes (amongst several other topics).  I have included a few of the charts below.

You can subscribe to the monthly item at:

Doug Elliott | QED Information Systems | Sask Trends Monitor

444 19th Avenue, Regina, Saskatchewan  S4N 1H1 | ( 306.522.5515 | ) 306.536.5131 * |


SK avg income

SK city avg income 1 SK city avg income 2

The Canadian dollar, oil and ‘Canada’s Dutch Disease’

The Canadian dollar, oil and ‘Canada’s Dutch Disease’
Michael Babad
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Sep. 10 2014, 7:07 AM EDT
Last updated Wednesday, Sep. 10 2014, 9:05 AM EDT
These are stories Report on Business is following Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014.
Follow Michael Babad and The Globe’s Business Briefing on Twitter.
‘Canada’s Dutch Disease’
Canada is showing symptoms of Dutch Disease, a major U.S. bank warns. But help is here, or at least on the way.
The issue has been a hot one for Canadian politicians. And many observers have rejected the idea of Dutch Disease in Canada, including former Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney.
But in a report this week, Bank of America Merrill Lynch says the evidence “points to” a Canadian case of Dutch Disease, a phenomenon of foreign money flooding into a country in the case of, say, a huge energy find, and damaging an economy by driving up the currency and, thus, hurting trade.
In Canada’s case, this would, if true, mean the oil boom pushes up the Canadian dollar, in turn whacking the export manufacturing base.
“The boom in oil production is a plus for GDP and national income,” Bank of America economist Emanuella Enenajor and foreign exchange strategist Ian Gordon said in the new report.
“But this sea-change also has meaningful ramifications on the currency and trade,” they added, pointing out that the energy sector was but a “blip” in the economy in the 1990s, accounting for less than 4 per cent of Canadian exports.
“We find a heightened relationship between the currency and oil prices in the past decade, suggesting the C$ is increasingly trading as a petrocurrency,” the researchers said.
“Moreover, a persistent current account deficit on weak non-energy trade suggests Canada is suffering from a ‘Dutch Disease,’ as the outsized appreciation in the currency has been out of line with broader trade fundamentals.”
The loonie, as Canada’s dollar coin is known, has gained over the years, trading at par with the U.S. greenback early last year. It has most recently weakened, helping along what the central bank hopes is a rebound in non-energy exports.
According to Ms. Enenajor and Mr. Gordon, 10-per-cent rise in oil prices is linked to a “persistent” 1.2-per-cent strengthening of the currency.
And according to their calculations in the report titled “Canada’s Dutch Disease,” crude will account for 27 per cent of all Canadian goods exports by 2025, as the biggest single component.
In turn, a 10-per-cent jump in the loonie cuts export revenues by 5 per cent, when converted back into Canadian currency, given that half of the country’s factory sales are export-bound.
“Keep in mind that the currency has gained nearly 45 per cent since 2002, and since then, factory production has fallen by 11 per cent, with jobs down by 24 per cent – a key symptom of Canada’s ‘Dutch disease.’ ”
Many observers believe the loonie should be lower than the 91-cent level of today, and expect it will be. And the flow of capital into Canada has eased.
“With a gaping current account deficit, all it takes is a slowing in capital flows for the currency to depreciate,” said Ms. Enenajor and Mr. Gordon, projecting that the dollar will end the year at just shy of 88 cents U.S.
“In our view, that risk is significant in an environment where the Fed is likely to hike before the Bank of Canada, and where energy prices risk stagnation.”
They’re not alone in their currency projections.
Just yesterday, chief economist Douglas Porter of BMO Nesbitt Burns noted that the recent softening in the price of oil seems to be “another negative” for the loonie.
He added, however, that the currency depreciation of the last year and one-half appears “to have gotten well ahead” of the easing in oil prices.
“Having said that, we still look for the Canadian dollar to weaken further over the next year, undercut in part by a broadly strengthening U.S. dollar,” Mr. Porter said.
“A further slide in oil would just grease the wheels.”

Latest jobs data ‘fishy,’ say economists

SK went from an all-time low of 3.2% in last month’s report up to 4.2% in the new report – still the lowest in Canada for the 20th  consecutive month.
Sep 2014
The StarPhoenix
Latest jobs data ‘fishy,’ say economists
OTTAWA — After a spectacular foul-up last month in the backrooms of Statistics Canada, is there any wonder the latest employment report by the federal agency was greeted with some skepticism?
“Very fishy,” said one economist, after looking at Friday’s release of jobs data for August, which showed a net loss of 11,000 positions when most forecasts had called for a gain of 10,000.
The report didn’t quite pass the “smell test,” said another analyst, who questioned how the Canadian economy could lose a recordbreaking number of privatesector employees during a post-recession recovery.
August’s unexpected drop came after a jump of 41,700 jobs the previous month — but that was the corrected estimate, following an initial data-skewered report by Statistics Canada on Aug. 8 that showed a gain of only 200 positions in July.
The mistake was blamed on a recent technical upgrade by the agency and human error in the number-crunching process. The corrected July report was re-released Aug. 15. The unemployment rate in July remained at seven per cent, and that reading carried over unchanged into the August tally, released Friday.
In Friday’s jobs report, Statistics Canada said fulltime positions shrank by 2,300 and part-time losses amounted to 8,700 positions in August. Almost all of the losses — 111,800 — came in the private sector.
Data for self-employment showed the only significant movement, registering an increase of 86,900 during the month against an overall drop in all workers of 97,800.
That’s where the skeptics weighed in, with Scotiabank Economics vice-president Derek Holt warning in a note to his clients “to be very careful with the Canadian jobs numbers.”
“Apparently private-payroll employees were just crushed last month via a drop of 97,800 and this was almost fully offset by a coincidental surge of 86,900 in the number of self-employed,” he said.
“That’s statistically possible I suppose, but it looks very fishy to me,” he said.
“The rise in the number of self-employed and the 111,800 drop in private payrolls are both monthly records in figures stretching back to the survey’s inception in 1976. What an utterly fascinating pair of coincidences.”
David Rosenberg, chief economist at Gluskin-Sheff and Associates, said Friday’s report did “not quite pass the smell test.”
Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at CIBC World Markets,” offered that “there’s no second computer error hidden in this.”
“These numbers would have been double-checked and triple-checked,” he said.
%d bloggers like this: