The province announced record job creation numbers for 2013 and Weyburn Chamber of Commerce manager Jeff Richard thinks southeast Saskatchewan is responsible for a large portion of the reported 18,000 jobs created last year.
“Job creation is how we create wealth, so certainly those numbers are encouraging,” said Richards and attributed much of the growth to the province’s exports and manufacturing shipping, which he said grew by 18 to 20 per cent.
The Ministry of Energy and Resources said a total of 8,100 of the jobs created last year were full time and a further 5,800 part-time jobs, for a total of new 13,900 new jobs. The 18,000 new jobs that the ministry reported was calculated by taking the jobs created every month in 2013 and averaging the numbers.
“When they’re full-time jobs, that’s the most encouraging,” said Richards, and added not many other provinces in the country can boast numbers like Saskatchewan. He cautioned the added jobs could exacerbate the province’s labour crunch, but said Weyburn is ready to face further growth.
Stewart Steel is one example of a local company which added staff to their operations in 2013. Most of the added jobs were full time and were for a wide variety of positions such as welding and design. Brad Stewart, president, agrees that the Weyburn area was particularly fortunate with regards to job growth. His entire business has grown and he would hire even more staff if he could find them.
“In this part of the province, our unemployment should be zero,” said Stewart.
Dennis Mainil, president of Jerry Mainil Ltd., said he is employing roughly the same number of staff this year as last year, but that there are always openings.
“The challenge is to have enough employees but not too many,” he said, and attributed the growth to the Sask Party, who he said created opportunities which did not exist in previous years.