Major City Insights: Saskatoon—Autumn 2021

The Conference Board of Canada, September 27, 2021
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Thanks to COVID-19 vaccines and reduced public health restrictions, economic momentum in major cities across the country is building. Vaccine passes will help to prevent new restrictions, but the presence of variants is still a downside risk to our outlook.

Document Highlights

  • We expect Saskatoon’s real GDP will jump by 6.5 per cent in 2021, regaining its pre-pandemic level by the end of this year.
  • But rising COVID-19 cases, along with the drought and flat potash prices facing Saskatoon’s surrounding rural areas, pose downside risk to our forecast.
  • Last year’s second-quarter collapse in employment pushed the city’s unemployment rate to a brutal 14.1 per cent. The rate averaged 9.7 per cent for all of 2020.
  • Saskatoon’s expected employment gain in 2021 will outweigh a smaller labour force increase, cutting the unemployment rate to 7.8 per cent.

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