Major City Insights: Saskatoon—May 2021

The Conference Board of Canada, May 31, 2021
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In cities across Canada, economic recovery from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic depends largely on the vaccine rollout and containing the spread of the virus. The hardest-hit sectors of the economy—particularly those that depend on people gathering in public—will take longer to recover.

Document Highlights

  • Supported by the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, Saskatoon’s GDP will rise 5.4 per cent in 2021, regaining its pre-pandemic peak by the end of the year.
  • The primary and utilities sector, Saskatoon’s largest industry, has struggled since the commodity market collapse. It shrank in four of the five years ending 2019, but last year’s 17.2 per cent contraction dwarfed any of these annual declines. Our expectation of a 5.5 per cent expansion in 2021 represents a modest revival.
  • A tepid 0.9 per cent employment increase this year will recoup only a fraction of last year’s losses. But a firmer 4.5 per cent increase in 2022 will lift job counts to pre-pandemic levels.

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