March 2015 Prairie Economic Fundamentals

Ally

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Another win for #Sask as
Fraser Institute names it first in Canada, second in world for mining


REGINA — The Fraser Institute says its annual global survey of mining executives has determined Saskatchewan is the most attractive jurisdiction for mining investment in Canada, and number two in the world.

The survey rates 122 jurisdictions around the world based on their geologic attractiveness and the extent to which government policies encourage exploration and investment.

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Ally

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Regina hits vacancy rate target nearly two years early

Regina has hit its three-per-cent rental vacancy rate target two years early, but affordability remains an issue, say some.

"I think it's a start. I don't think it solves the problems," said Coun. Barbara Young, a member of the Mayor's Housing Commission.

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Regina apartment vacancy rate highest since 2006

The apartment vacancy rate in Regina has gone up — but rents are rising, too.

A report going to a City Hall committee Thursday says the most recent survey by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. showed a 3 per cent vacancy rate in the fall of 2014, compared to 1.8 per cent a year earlier.

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February 2015 housing starts in Saskatoon

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN–(Marketwired – March 9, 2015) - Housing starts in the Saskatoon Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) were trending at 3,170 units in February compared to 3,426 in January, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR)[sup](1)[/sup] of total housing starts.

“The trend in total housing starts moved lower in February following a declining trend in both single-detached and multi-family starts. While the overall trend in starts has been above 3,000 units since April 2014, CMHC expects that rising inventory and moderating economic fundamentals will prompt local home builders to slow the pace of housing starts in 2015,” said Goodson Mwale, CMHC’s Senior Market Analyst for Saskatchewan.

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Temporary foreign workers program changes will hurt Saskatchewan businesses, says study

While Alberta will bear the brunt of lost employees from Canada's revamped temporary foreign worker program, Saskatchewan businesses will be hit hard too, according to a new report by the Canada West Foundation.

The report is called "Work Interrupted: How federal foreign worker rule changes hurt the West." It outlines how new rules that limit low-wage temporary foreign workers will hurt employers in provinces with the lowest unemployment rate.

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Saskatchewan still has the lowest unemployment rate in Canada

Saskatchewan recorded the lowest unemployment rate in Canada for the month of February 2015, according to new data released by Statistics Canada today. The unemployment rate was 5.0 per cent, compared to a national rate of 6.8 per cent (seasonally adjusted).

“We are in the fortunate position of having an economy that is diversified with the strength of potash and agriculture bridging the gap of low oil prices,” Immigration, Jobs, Skills and Training Minister Jeremy Harrison said. “Encouraging news from RBC yesterday shows Saskatchewan’s economy will have an annual growth rate of more than 2.0 per cent in 2015 and 2016, and jobs will likely follow that trend.”

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Manitoba's unemployment rate falls after more than 3,000 workers drop out of the labour force

after more than 3,000 workers — most of them jobless — dropped out of the labour force, new Statistics Canada data shows.

The agency said 3,400 workers, 3,000 of which were unemployed — stopped looking for work during the month. That reduced the number of people in the provincial labour force to 671,900 from 675,300 in January, and the number of unemployed Manitobans to 37,300 from 40,300.

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Major projects boost construction job growth

WINNIPEG , March 16, 2015 /CNW/ - Skilled trades workers are in demand in Manitoba , especially during the next few years, as major hydroelectric and transmission projects drive job growth, according to the latest forecast released today by BuildForce Canada.

"The biggest challenge for industry will be ensuring qualified workers are available, as projects ramp up this year and next," said Rosemary Sparks , Executive Director of BuildForce Canada. "During peak periods, industry may need to step up recruitment efforts to attract skilled tradespeople from outside the province."

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Ally

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Saskatchewan planning tax incentive to boost manufacturing jobs

REGINA — The Saskatchewan government says the budget to be tabled today has been the most difficult to put together because of low oil prices that continue to affect revenue.

Finance Minister Ken Krawetz says the province anticipated stronger prices last September.

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