2015 was an interesting year for the economy. Coming off several years of extraordinary growth, we saw some challenges in the energy section, reduced commodity prices and a slowdown in the construction industry. However, the Saskatoon economy managed to weather the storm pretty well. SREDA looks forward to 2016 with optimism, albeit somewhat cautious optimism, for the Saskatoon region economy. We believe Saskatoon’s diverse economy, continued demand for our natural resources, ongoing and new infrastructure projects and a growing entrepreneurial spirit leave us well positioned for growth in 2016 and into the future.
SREDA is forecasting GDP growth of approximately 2% next year, with the majority of the growth happening in the second half of the year. We will continue to see increases in both population and employment and expect the unemployment rate to remain in the 5-6% range.
At SREDA, our focus for 2016 will be to continue to help grow the region’s economy by attracting new businesses, helping local companies expand, supporting entrepreneurship, marketing the region, providing economic analysis and leading regional economic development planning. We also have high hopes for the Saskatoon Aboriginal Employment Partnership in which we play a lead role.
I hope our community continues to realize that there are few better places in the world than the Saskatoon region to live, work and prosper. We wish all residents and businesses another successful year.
For more info about the Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority (SREDA), please visit www.sreda.com. Square One is a division of SREDA.