There are 11,000 fewer jobs in Saskatchewan since last year – and most of those are in the real estate and construction industries.
That’s according to the latest numbers from Stats Canada, which compared job numbers from October 2015 to 2016.
The president of the Regina and Region Homebuilders’ Association, Stu Niebergall, said Regina has “quietly stripped away 1,500 jobs” in new home construction since the peak years of 2012-2014.
“Those would be from homebuilding firms who have had to cut back their levels of production. They’ve had to make cutbacks in terms of their staffing,” he explained. “But where it really shows up is as you start to work down the supplier chain and the sub-contracting levels.”
Niebergall said that, during the peak of the boom, the Regina housing market was investing about $1-billion a year in terms of economic activity, generating around 5,000 jobs.
He added that all is not lost, as Regina’s housing market is still “healthy.” He said 1,500 homes were built this year.
“The bottom certainly has not fallen out. That’s still a healthy housing market for our city and is certainly creating and protecting the existing jobs related to that level of starts.”
Niebergall stressed that the provincial and municipal governments should be “economically competitive” and provide not only policy, but investment.
“That’s going to require some innovation and a real need by our community to embrace growth.”