While the national unemployment rate took a jump in January, it stayed level in Saskatchewan, according to the latest numbers from Statistics Canada.
In the monthly Labour Force Survey, released Friday morning, it showed Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted, was 5.5 percent, unchanged from December. This comes as there were 3900 more people working in the province. However, the labour force itself also grew by another 3800 people. The increase in the labour force combined with the increase in jobs resulted in the rate holding steady.
Nationally, the economy lost 200,000 jobs, with the unemployment rate increasing to 6.5 percent. This was primarily due to the stricter public health measures in place during the reference week of January 9th to 15th in some jurisdictions. The declines were primarily driven by Ontario and Quebec.
As for the breakdown in Saskatchewan, looking at the economic regions used by Statistics Canada for the Labour Force Survey, the Regina-Moose Mountain area had the lowest unemployment rate in the province, at 4.3 percent. This was down from 4.6 percent in December. The Saskatoon-Biggar region had the second-lowest unemployment rate at 5.1 percent, up from 5.0 percent in December.
Prince Albert and North Saskatchewan had their unemployment rate increase as well, going from 5.1 to 5.4 percent. The two regions that saw the highest jumps in the unemployment rate were the Yorkton-Mellville region and the Swift Current-Moose Jaw region. The rates in those regions were 6.0 and 7.6 respectively.
Compared to the rest of the country, Saskatchewan currently has the fourth-lowest unemployment rate in Canada. The unemployment numbers are behind British Columbia, Manitoba and Quebec.