June 2021 Economic Brief

This month we look at the economic indicators released for May 2021.

Executive Summary

As the economy moves through 2021, we can anticipate continued improvements in labour market statistics. Noting that the data is now comparing pandemic month to pandemic month, year to date employment is increasing at a significantly faster rate than that experienced at the provincial level. The only negatives are a persistently high unemployment rate, soft commercial building permit data, and looming inflationary concerns which could spur increases in borrowing rates.

  • Average year to date total employment in the Greater Regina Region was up 3.1% or 3,980 positions as of May 2021 over the same period in 2020. At the provincial level, average year to date employment increased by 2,275 or 0.4%.
  • Average year-to-date employment in May 2021 was up over the same period in 2020 in Agriculture (167), Utilities (380), Wholesale and Retail Trade (3,040), Professional, scientific and technical services (120), Business, building and other support services (480), Educational services (1,980), Health care and social assistance (1,200), and Public administration (2,640).
  • Average year-to-date employment in May 2021 was down in Resource Extraction (-500), Manufacturing (-20), Transportation and warehousing (-1,520), Finance, insurance, real estate and leasing (-1,540), Information, culture and recreation (-2,600), Accommodation and food services (-140), and other services (-940).
  • On the strength of strong residential construction activity, year-to-date May 2021 construction employment is up by 1,140 positions from the same period in 2020.
  • April 2021, total year-to-date housing starts are up by 79 units or 33.8%. Year-to-date increases were observed in singles (4 units or 4.5%), semi-detached (12 units or 120.0%), and apartment and other types (69 units or 65.7%). Year-to-date declines were confined to row (-6 units or -19.4%).
  • April 2021 year to date building permits are down -25.0% over the same period in 2020. Sub sectors that posted increases were: residential (17.3%), industrial (10.3%), and institutional and governmental (136.9%). During the same time period, declines were limited to commercial (-68.0%).
  • The average year-to-date Housing Price Index Benchmark Composite Price is up from $238,220 in May 2020 to $256,340 in May 2021.
  • The average year-to-date Housing Price Index Benchmark Composite Price is up from $236,275 in April 2020 to $253,925 in April 2021.
  • In 3 rapid rate cuts on March 4, March 13, and March 27 2020, the Bank of Canada cut its benchmark interest rate to 0.25. The Bank of Canada will likely keep its benchmark rate near zero in the medium term to spur post pandemic economic activity. In its March 2021 rate announcement, the Bank of Canada reiterated that it has no plans to raise its rate for another two years.
  • Regina Census Metropolitan Area population was up 2,319 or 0.9% from 260,865 in 2019 to 263,184 in 2020. Slowing population growth was due to travel restrictions and their impact on international in-migration and weaker than expected inter-provincial net migration.
  • The Conference Board of Canada estimated Regina real GDP to drop by 3.8 % in 2020 Real GDP is expected to advance by 5% in 2021.

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.