Job vacancy rates in Saskatchewan continue to hover near the top of the country.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business says in the first quarter of 2014, around 12 thousand 500 jobs were unfilled in the province, leading to a vacancy rate of 3-point-6. Only Alberta has a higher rate than Saskatchewan.
Marilyn Braun-Pollon with CFIB says in their monthly Business Barometer checks with businesses in the province, the one concern employers have is a lack of skilled workers. About 37 percent of members in the most recent Business Barometer have a concern with a lack of skilled workers.
Off switch hit at Saskatchewan wood-burning power generation plant
PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. - A low-quality fuel source has led to the temporary shelving of a project that generates electricity from old wood at a shuttered pulp mill near Prince Albert, Sask.
Since early 2012, Paper Excellence, through its Prince Albert Pulp Inc., subsidiary, has been using existing boiler and turbo-generator equipment at the mill to burn waste wood for creation of electricity that's distributed on the provincial power grid.
REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN`(Marketwired ` Aug. 11, 2014) - Housing starts in the Regina Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) were trending at 2,353 units in July compared to 1,959 in June, 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 higher in July after local home builders increased production of multi-family units. The upward shift was supported by an increase in apartment starts for rental tenure, which more than offset the decline in single-detached starts,` said Pichu Kalyniuk, CMHC Market Analyst for the Prairie and Territories Region.
If you gauge the growth of a city by its construction activity, Winnipeg is booming.
The city has been enjoying a steady rate of improvement the last few years, particularly building new condos and apartment buildings. "The value of construction and number of units added have been on the rise, and the permits worth at least $1 million that were approved in 2014 show that more big things are on the way.
There were 25% more permits issued this past June than there were in June 2013. There was also 170% more in value of apartment building permits (14,600 to 5,400)
Unemployment in Saskatchewan hit a historic low in July, clocking-in at 3.3 per cent (seasonally adjusted). This is the lowest unemployment rate on record for the province since Statistics Canada started recording employment data in 1976. The last time Saskatchewan`s unemployment rate dipped to an all-time low was in April 2014, at 3.4 per cent.
`Our impressively low unemployment rate is the highlight of today`s report,` Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart said on behalf of Associate Minister of the Economy Jeremy Harrison. `Saskatchewan`s rate of unemployment is now lower than every other province in the nation, and 49 of 50 American states. Only North Dakota has a lower unemployment rate at 2.7 per cent.`
Former factory, livestock building being converted into apartments
Two more downtown buildings are being converted into rental apartments -- both by the developer of one of the area's high-profile new condominium developments.
Sandhu Developments Ltd., which earlier this month broke ground on its $34-million D Condo complex on Assiniboine Avenue, is converting the six-storey former Bemis Bag Building at 311 Alexander Ave. into 88 apartments and the five-storey former Adelaide Mini Storage building at 49 Adelaide St. into 51 rental units.
Finance Minister Ken Krawetz has said the provincial budget surplus remains intact, even with a $150 million allowance for flood related costs. Krawetz released the First Quarter Financial Report today.
The projected surplus is $75 million, up $3.5 million from budget, despite the flood allowance, largely due to a projected increase in total revenue of $169 million.
Manitoba improves protection for tenants and landlords
Changes to the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act were proclaimed earlier this month and will offer new protection for renters, while reducing paperwork and red tape for landlords, Tourism, Culture, Heritage, Sport and Consumer Protection Minister Ron Lemieux announced.
`We consulted landlords and tenants on this bill to ensure fairness and transparency, and I feel confident these changes address long-standing grievances from both sides,` said Minister Lemieux.