In 2012, the Government of Saskatchewan launched the Saskatchewan Plan for Growth.
Saskatchewan is experiencing a rate of growth that brings many new opportunities and many new challenges. In 2013, our province is on pace for the best employment growth ever recorded; businesses could employ even more people, but there is a shortage of skilled labour. The Saskatchewan Plan for Growth addresses opportunities and challenges like these. It is a strategy designed to secure a better quality of life for all Saskatchewan people. To achieve this vision, the growth plan has two overriding goals: to ensure Saskatchewan continues to grow and to ensure the province is meeting the challenges of growth.
It will accomplish this by:
- Investing in the infrastructure required for growth
- Educating, training and developing a skilled workforce
- Ensuring the ongoing competitiveness of Saskatchewan’s economy
- Supporting increased trade, investment and exports through international engagement
- Advancing Saskatchewan’s natural resource strengths, particularly through innovation, to build the next economy
- Ensuring fiscal responsibility through balanced budgets, lower debt and smaller more effective government
In 2013, the government released its first progress report on the Saskatchewan Plan for Growth.
Population Growth: Saskatchewan’s population topped the 1.1 million mark for the first time ever, growing by more than 100,000 people in the last six years. Well on the way to reaching the goal of 1.2 million people by 2020.
Job Growth: Through the first nine months of 2013, the number of people working in Saskatchewan is up nearly 20,000 on average, compared to 2012. And, unemployment in September 2013 was 4.3 per cent, the lowest in Canada for the ninth consecutive month.
Economic Growth: Saskatoon and Regina are forecast to have the strongest economic growth among Canadian cities in 2013 at 5.2 per cent and 5 per cent respectively. And, the Conference Board of Canada expects the economies of both cities to grow at three times the national average in 2013.
Meeting other objectives:
- Maintaining a balanced budget
- Investing $847.5 million in infrastructure this year, one-third of the targeted investment of $2.5 billion over three years
- Adding 300 new Adult Basic Education spaces to reduce the waitlist by 12 per cent
- Continuing to reduce surgical wait times in the province
Much of the growth in our province is driven by Saskatchewan businesses and a strong natural resource sector. The government will continue to support this growth by encouraging further diversification of our resource-based economy, marketing the province throughout the world and maintaining a competitive tax and regulatory environment that encourages new investment and new jobs.