Sask. Manufacturing Hits the Wall

Premier Brad Wall was Tweeting about today’s Statistics Canada report of an uptick in national manufacturing sales in March. It is an odd report for him to trumpet, given that it found a decline in Saskatchewan’s manufacturing sales that month.

Another recent Statistics Canada report, Friday’s Labour Force Survey, indicates that Saskatchewan lost 400 manufacturing jobs in April. I had previously written that the province lost 4,600 manufacturing jobs since Wall took office. That figure is now an even 5,000.

Since Wall’s premiership began in November 2007, manufacturing employment has declined by 16% in Saskatchewan (from 32,000 to 27,000) compared to 11% nationally (from 1,998,200 to 1,786,100).

Are Saskatchewan manufacturers suffering from Dutch disease, Sask. Party sickness, or both?

Erin Weir is an economist with the United Steelworkers union and a CCPA research associate.

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