Economic Profile Trends
Saskatoon is Saskatchewan's largest city. With a growing population and a thriving business sector, Saskatoon has positioned itself as an attractive and vibrant city that is a primary engine of the Saskatchewan economy. Notwithstanding the global economic challenges, Saskatoon's diverse economy, low unemployment, healthy real estate market, and rising incomes, all indicate that Saskatoon will continue to grow and prosper, becoming an even more attractive and competitive city.
One factor driving Saskatoon's population growth is the abundance of job opportunities that are available in the city. Employment growth in 2017 and 2018 was steady and the economy continues to be strong.
According to Statistics Canada, the population of the Saskatoon CMA, which includes cities and towns such as Martensville, Warman, and Delisle, was 323,809 as of July 1, 2017. Saskatoon CMA's population increased by 2.8 % the fourth largest increase in Canada in 2016/2017. The Saskatoon CMA was followed by Regina (2.4%), Guelph (2.2%) and Ottawa-Gatineau (Ontario part) (2.2%). This was the first time since 2009/2010 that neither Calgary nor Edmonton was among the top five CMAs with the strongest population growth in Canada. They were both in the top ten with a population increase of 1.8%.
More locally, the City of Saskatoon's internal projections and estimates indicate that as of July 1, 2018, Saskatoon's population had reached 278,500. Since 2013, the city has added nearly 32,000 new residents averaging 6,400 new residents per year.
Saskatoon's strong population growth has been driven primarily by international immigration. 86% of net migration in the CMA has come from international immigration. Saskatoon is also having more people moving to Saskatoon from other places in Saskatchewan but is losing more people to other provinces than are being drawn in.
Saskatoon CMA is also experiencing a "baby boom" of sorts. This positive trajectory indicates that more daycare spaces, schools, and recreation facilities will be required to accommodate this growth.
Saskatoon's unemployment rate was reported as 7.0% by the Conference Board of Canada in January 2019.
Saskatoon's Consumer Price Index (CPI) continue to increase annually; with a 2.3% increase from 2017-2018.
A Municipal Price Index (MPI) for the City of Saskatoon is calculated for future budgeting benchmarks and reviewed annually
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
As of the fourth quarter of 2017, the real GDP (in 2007 millions) for the Saskatoon region was $17,897.10 million.
According to the Conference Board of Canada, the Saskatoon CMA saw a 3.0% increase in retail sales growth in 2017/2018.
Since 2011, Saskatoon's personal per capita disposable income growth has fluctuated annually between -3.1% and 6.0%. The annual increase is expected to average around 1.25% for the next few years.
For cities, a good indicator of economic activity is the number of building permits issued each year. In 2018, the City of Saskatoon issued 3,556 building permits. The value of construction for the building permits issued in 2018 was $642,595,000. This is a decrease from 2017 when the number of permits issued was 3,998 building permits and value of construction was $762,082,000.
In 2018, the City issued 1,349 new business licenses (566 commercial, and 783 home-based businesses). The average annual growth rate of business licenses is 2.3% since 2014.