Saskatchewan leads Canadian provinces in job growth

Alexandra Miekus
Published: January 13, 2022

The latest figures show that job growth is up across the country with Saskatchewan faring particularly well among Canadian provinces.

Saskatchewan recorded the highest month-over-month job growth rate among Canadian provinces, according to the December Labour Force Survey.

Saskatchewan gained 6,000 jobs in December 2021, marking a 1.1% increase from November 2021.

The professional, scientific, and technical services sectors experienced the most notable increases and gains were recorded in full-time employment, primarily among men aged 25 to 54.

The unemployment rate in Saskatchewan was 5.4% and reached pre-pandemic levels in the census metropolitan areas of Saskatoon and Regina.

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According to provincial data, the largest year-over-year gains were in health care and social assistance, with 8,000 more jobs, in trade, with 7,400 more jobs, and in construction, with 4,700 more jobs. The figures also show that over the same period, the private sector added 10,800 jobs, female employment increased by 10,600 jobs, and youth employment increased by 7,700 jobs.

"Even with the global economic volatility in 2021, Saskatchewan continued to create jobs and consistently had among the lowest unemployment rates in Canada. Our province is in an enviable position for economic growth in 2022," said Jeremy Harrison, Minister of Immigration and Career Training, in a press release.

"Our success is due to the incredible work ethic and resiliency of Saskatchewan job creators who despite unprecedented challenges have continued to create jobs and opportunity."

The Canadian economy, meanwhile, added 55,000 jobs in December, while the unemployment rate fell to a 22-month low of 5.9% from 6.0 % in November.

After declining due to international travel restrictions, the number of very recent immigrants to Canada has returned to pre-pandemic levels in recent months, according to the survey. In December, the total number of very recent working-age immigrants (25 to 54 years old) increased by 0.6%, or 5,000 more, than two years earlier.

In 2021, Canada reached its goal of 401,000 new permanent residents, and the current government wants to increase that goal to 411,000 for next year.

Saskatchewan immigration programs

There are a number of immigration programs for people who want to immigrate to Saskatchewan.

Canada’s main immigration pathway, Express Entry, is open to anyone who wants to live in any Canadian province other than Quebec. To immigrate through Express Entry, you need to be eligible for one of the three Federal High Skilled immigration programs: Canadian Experience ClassFederal Skilled Worker Program, or the Federal Skilled Trades Program. The Express Entry system gives a candidate a point score based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The highest-ranking candidates are invited to apply for permanent residence during regularly held Express Entry draws.

Saskatchewan also has its own Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), called the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP). One of the streams offered under the SINP is linked to the Express Entry system, Saskatchewan Express Entry, which means that a nomination from the province gives a candidate an extra 600 CRS points, practically guaranteeing them to get an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence.

Under the SINP, Saskatchewan also offers the following streams that are not aligned with the Express Entry system that require candidates who receive a provincial nomination to apply directly to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC):

In November of last year, Saskatchewan also announced a new immigration pilot project. The Hard-To-Fill Skills Pilot will allow Saskatchewan employers to recruit international talent for certain in-demand occupations. Eligible jobs under this pilot include entry-level positions that may require on-the-job training. The sectors with the highest labour demands in Saskatchewan include health, manufacturing, agriculture, ag-tech, construction, hospitality, and retail.

More recently, Saskatchewan also launched a new International Healthcare Worker Expression of Interest (EOI) pool under SINP, allowing candidates to submit an online form indicating they are interested in working in a selected health care occupation in Saskatchewan.

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