Economic Update: Plenty of reasons for optimism in October 2021


The unemployment rate continues to improve month-over-month and the solid housing market remains stable. COVID numbers are steadily decreasing in Regina and with Agribition coming in November, it’s no doubt that we will see more positive numbers in our future.


The unemployment rate for October was 5.9%, the best unemployment number since January 2020 and one of the best in Canada among comparable cities. In addition, Agribition is back – Canadian Western Agribition generates more than $50M in economic activity for the Regina area – and countless new opportunities for Regina businesses. With attractions comes visitors: YQR saw more than 46,000 passengers in October 2021 – still substantially down from pre-pandemic numbers, but a 278% increase from October 2020.

The positives:

  • The wholesale and retail trade sector has seen 19% year-over-year employment growth in October compared the last year.
  • Year-to-date construction employment is up by 1,690 positions from the same time in 2020 on the strength of strong residential and non-residential construction activity.
  • Education services saw a 48% year-over-year growth as more students are going back to school this year – great news for students and workers alike.

The Negatives:

  • Year-to-date employment in Regina’s manufacturing sector is about 1,460 lower than this time last year.
  • Employment in information and culture recreation continues to feel the effects of the pandemic due to limited travel and ongoing (and necessary) health and safety measures.
  • The low level of capital expenditure continues to weigh on Regina’s resource extraction sector, which saw a 28% decrease in employment compared to this time last year.

Regina’s COVID Outlook

New daily case numbers in Regina saw a 92% decrease from September and active case numbers are also decreased 65%. Nearly 82% of Regina’s population 12 and older are fully vaccinated, however, 80% of new COVID cases in Saskatchewan are in people who are not fully vacinated – underlining the critical importance of vaccinations for all eligible people.

Economic Trends

Housing market remains strong: Housing starts are up 27% compared to October 2021, with the demand for single homes at the forefront. Regina’s housing prices remain among the most affordable in Canada.

Regina is leading the way: Regina’s employment numbers are increasing at a significantly faster rate than the rest of the province and country. This means that in Regina, more people are working and job prospects are improving.

CAUTION: Inflation continues to accelerate: Saskatchewan’s October inflation rate, while still a concern at 3.2%, is the lowest among the provinces and well below the national rate of 4.7%. Major contributors to inflation are increases in the cost of food, shelter, and transportation.

Looking Forward

Business Confidence: According to the Regina Executive Leadership Outlook, Regina business leaders expect to increase employee numbers, sales revenue and profitability over the next 12 months.

Investing in Regina: November saw two major capital announcements for the Regina area: Whitecap Resources signed a memorandum of understanding (“MOU”) with Federated Co-operatives Limited for a $500M carbon capture utilization project. FCL also announced its intention to make a $1.85B investment into building a renewable diesel plant in Regina.

COVID-19 case numbers moving in the right direction: The new daily average cases in Regina have decreased significantly, with the announcement that Health Canada has approved the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5-11, more people than ever can now be protected.

The Economic Report Card is a joint initiative between Economic Development Regina Inc., Praxis Consulting, and SJ Research Services. It provides a concise report of key economic indicators for the Greater Regina Area, updated monthly.

This month we look at the economic indicators released for February 2022.