Health-care expenditures highest per capita in Canada
The province's economy got a clean bill of health from the Chartered Accountants of Saskatchewan, the association said in its annual checkup.
Saskatchewan led the country in overall economic growth in 2008, thanks to a low unemployment rate, increased population and a rise in after-tax corporate profitability, the report said.
And the former have-not province was deemed to be the best place in the country to invest, with nation-leading increases in labour productivity, more employment in the sciences and lower government debt.
The accountants also applauded the provincial government for cutting taxes -- last year saw the largest personal tax reduction in Saskatchewan's history.
Other findings of the report include:
- Saskatchewan's economy grew by 4.4 per cent last year, the highest in Canada in 2008;
- Growth in disposable income was more than triple the national average, while the debt-to-income ratio was the lowest among all jurisdictions;
- Saskatchewan had the smallest increase in the cost of living in terms of shelter costs;
- The province's unemployment rate fell to a record low 4.1 per cent in 2008, second only to Alberta's 3.6 per cent;
- The economy added 10,900 new jobs in 2008, an increase of 2.2 per cent, well above the national growth rate of 1.5 per cent;
- The province's female-to-male wage ratio declined for the third year in a row; and
- Saskatchewan's ratio of after-tax corporate profits-to-GDP ratio was 26 per cent, the highest of all provinces surveyed.
Saskatchewan Check-Up 2009 compares 15 key indicators in Saskatchewan with each of the western provinces, Ontario and Canada as a whole. The report's executive summary is available at www.icas.sk.ca.
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