Saskatchewan is leading the way after Canada’s job numbers received a boost last month.
Statistics Canada’s latest labour survey reported 563,600 people were employed in the province — an increase of 5,000 people from January 2017 and more than 8,600 people from February 2016. A substantial amount of new jobs were full time.
Nationwide, the labour force rose by 1,100 to 602,500. That’s up 7,800 from the previous year.
Unemployment in Saskatchewan fell to 6.5 per cent in February, down from 7.1 per cent in January and 6.7 per cent the year before.
That’s below Canada’s unemployment rate of 7.0 in February 2017. The national statistic also fell from 7.2 per cent the previous month and 7.7 per cent the previous year.
Premier Brad Wall pointed to the diversification of the economy as to why the province saw growth amidst sinking oil prices.
“There are other sectors of the economy (besides oil and gas) that have kept us actually relatively strong,” he said while speaking on Gormley Monday.
Wall also pointed to the oil and gas sector, which has started to bounce back.
“People are going back to work. There’s hiring signs in my hometown of Swift Current for the oil-related businesses. We know that some Weyburn companies have had a hard time finding employees,” Wall said.
While more people in Saskatchewan are employed full time, Wall noted that doesn’t change the financial picture of the province.
“Sometimes the economy of the province and the budget of the province go in a different direction,” he said.
The province is set to announce its 2017 budget on March 22.