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More people working in province from '07 q Canadian numbers decrease by 71,000

 By Neil ScottDecember 6, 2008

 REGINA -- Saskatchewan's economy posted strong job growth numbers in November, while much of the rest of the country was seeing job losses.

The latest job numbers, released by Statistics Canada on Friday, indicated there were 520,700 people employed in Saskatchewan in November, an increase of 14,800 compared to November of last year.

Across Canada, employment dropped by 71,000 jobs in November. Massive job losses, in excess of 500,000 jobs, were also reported in the U.S.

The 2.9 per cent employment growth in Saskatchewan was the second-best in the country, with only Alberta producing better results.

Doug Elliott, publisher of the Sask Trends Monitor newsletter, was hard pressed to find any bad news buried in the good news about Saskatchewan's economy.

"I don't know if I can find any bad news here at all. It's all good," Elliott said.

Full-time employment is up, employment of aboriginal people is up and the unemployment rate is down, Elliott said.

Manufacturing jobs in Saskatchewan were down by 2,700 jobs in November compared to a year ago. But Elliott said people who might otherwise be working in manufacturing appear to be picking up vacant job positions in other economic sectors, such as construction and retail.

The national numbers, showing serious losses in Ontario and other parts of the country, provide proof that Canada's economy is facing real difficulties, Elliott said.

"It's real, all right, it's just not real in Saskatchewan," Elliott said.

But the impacts of the real economic crisis being faced in the national and international economies may have an impact on Saskatchewan in the future, Elliott said.

Advanced Education, Employment and Labour Minister Rob Norris was happy with the latest Saskatchewan job numbers.

"We are pleased to enter the holiday season with continuing growth in our employment rate," Norris said.

"We can celebrate our strong workforce and stable economy as we move into the new year."

Recent statistics that show the average wages in Saskatchewan have risen by 4.1 per compared to a year ago are also good news for the province, Norris said.

There are also more than 7,400 job openings listed on the www.saskjobs.ca website, Norris said.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Saskatchewan dropped to 3.7 per cent in November, from 4.0 per cent both in November of last year and in October of this year.

Across Canada, the unemployment rate increased to 6.3 per cent in November from 5.9 per cent in November last year and from 6.2 per cent in October of this year.

Scott N 2008, ‘More people working in province from '07 q Canadian numbers decrease by 71,000’,  the Star Phoenix, 6 December

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