800 jobs created in Saskatoon in March
800 new jobs were created in Saskatoon in March. This brings the city's unemployment rate to 5.9 percent, which is well below the national unemployment rate of 7.2 percent.
The executive director of the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce says "It's really quite phenomenal, very exciting indeed, really good for young people in terms of what they can expect to see in terms of future prospects."
Smith-Windsor says in the last 6 months 5,800 new jobs have been created here. He says that's a record for that period of time. The chamber's goal for Saskatoon to add 8,000 new jobs a year. Smith-Windsor says "The momentum continues on a basis that we see job creation on a historic proportion in 2012."
An announcement last week by one of Saskatoon's biggest employers may however slow this momentum down. The University of Saskatchewan is facing a shortfall this year of 12-15 million dollars. They say they have to cut spending, which could include layoffs."
But the chamber says expansions in the farm implement manufacturing, mining, and commodities industries should offset any loss. Smith-Windsor says long term expansion plans by potash industry companies are particularly exciting because they mean jobs in Saskatoon for a long time to come: "The capital expenditure piece is really what's driving the expansion that we are seeing in Saskatoon today."
Smith-Windsor also points out that the decision this month by electronics giant Hitachi to centralize their operations in Saskatoon reveals the strength of the city's economy and its promising future.