Now that we’re into the second quarter of the year, we’re starting to get some more detailed numbers on how the economy performed last year and some of the implications for that activity.
A key one is the labour market and StatsCan has now completed its review of 2017. This is a big picture assessment, taking into account a variety of indicators. Some of the observations they came away with reflect some of bigger trends in the population.
First of all, employment growth nationally outpaced population growth. So a larger percentage of us are working. The number of Aboriginal people holding jobs grew considerably faster than the non-Aboriginal cohort. Also, older workers are staying in the labour pool longer. And employment in the public sector grew faster than the private sector.
In Saskatchewan, we had a mixed bag. Overall job numbers went down marginally. But even with more available labour, wage rates rose and were among the strongest in the country with average weekly pay for wage earners topping $1,000, or roughly $50,000 annually.