We’re moving to Saskatchewan

VANCOUVER, March 5, 2013 (Financial Press) – We all remember the brain drain in the 1980s and ’90s of people moving from Saskatchewan to other provinces, namely Alberta, in search of a better life. A better life meant access to jobs, higher wages and ultimately higher quality of life.

Things have clearly changed.

According to a Statistics Canada report released early last year, Saskatchewan tied Alberta for the lowest unemployment rate in the country (five per cent) in 2011, while payroll jobs increased by 2.8 per cent between January 2011 and January 2012 — nearly double the national average. That means there were roughly 12,400 more payroll jobs in Saskatchewan in January 2012 than there were 12 months earlier.

The same report for 2013 says Saskatchewan had the lowest unemployment rate in the country in January 2013 at four per cent, which was the lowest since November 2008.

Saskatchewan’s average weekly earnings were $936, above the national average of $908.35. These increases are significant, and Saskatchewan Economy Minister Bill Boyd is confident wages will continue to rise in 2013.

Saskatchewan is also becoming an investment haven for internationals as the province’s explosive growth rate is being recognized globally. A large part of this growth and international recognition is due to the natural resource boom, which has fired up the province’s economy.

Oil production in Saskatchewan hit a new record in 2012, according to statistics released by the Ministry of the Economy, reaching 172.9 million barrels, up more than seven per cent from the previous record of 161.0 million barrels set in 2008.

The oil and gas industry continues to be one of the largest contributors to the Saskatchewan economy, representing about 20.7 per cent of the province’s GDP.

So, what’s next?

The mining industry is the province’s third largest industry after oil and gas and agriculture. Saskatchewan has the world’s biggest potash industry and accounts for 35 per cent of the world’s trade in potash.

Also, the rising demand for nuclear energy worldwide has given a huge boost to the province’s uranium industry. Canada produces about onethird of the world’s uranium mine output, with Saskatchewan being a big part of that.

While potash and uranium are certainly in the spotlight, gold mining is quietly gaining momentum. A few small companies are making a large impact in the province, particularly in the La Ronge Gold Belt. This gold belt has numerous gold deposits and two gold mines currently in production, creating many new jobs and boosting local economies. This was made possible due to the amount of investment dollars that have flowed into the region over the last few years.

One of the main things we as investment advisers track is money flow. We can tell you the increase in money flow to this province is substantial and to us this means opportunity. In fact, new capital investment in Saskatchewan was expected to reach a new record $20.2 billion in 2012.

Dennis Hoesgen and Eric Hoesgen are senior investment advisers with Hoesgen Investment Partners (HIP) at Canaccord Wealth Management, a division of Canaccord Genuity Corp., Member-Canadian Investor Protection Fund. The information contained in this article is drawn from sources believed to be reliable, but the accuracy and completeness of the information is not guaranteed, nor in providing it does HIP, Canaccord Genuity Corp, or its subsidiaries, or affiliated companies, assume any liability. This information is current as of the date appearing in this article, we do not assume any obligation to update the information or advise on further developments relating to these securities. This report should not be considered personal investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell securities. Canaccord Genuity and holdings of its respective directors, officers and employees and their associations, from time to time may buy or sell any securities mentioned herein. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Canaccord. Eric Hoesgen and Dennis Hoesgen can be reached at 604-643-0229 or HIP@Canaccord.com
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