With the emergence of the Delta variant as the dominant strain, it’s clear we’re not out of the woods with the pandemic. Government and health officials continue to encourage citizens to be vaccinated and to take whatever measures are necessary to remain safe. All that said, it’s also clear that Regina has experienced strong recovery in recent months, and that’s a definite positive.
Regina’s average Year-to-date total employment was up 6.2%, with 7,986 positions added in July 2021 over the same period in 2020. This has almost completely erased the loss of 8,500 jobs experienced in 2020. In fact, Regina’s employment gains accounted for more than half of total provincial employment gains.
Regina is experiencing a strong recovery when shown alongside comparable Canadian cities. That means more people are working and employment prospects have improved. While some may characterize the city as “a government town”, the stability of public service jobs has aided recovery, as those workers continue to participate in the economy – visiting restaurants, attending events, renovating homes, and doing the things that people do.
Regina’s housing market continues to be very strong. While the annual pace of housing starts across Canada slowed for the fourth month in a row, Regina’s continued to grow. Housing starts are 50% higher in July 2021 than they were in July 2020.
At the same time, Regina continues to rank well in housing affordability. Historically low interest rates should continue to support a strong housing market and further strengthen Regina’s economy.
Travel & Reopening
With Saskatchewan’s July 11 reopening, Regina International Airport saw a strong uptick in domestic flights scheduled, almost equaling the first four months of 2021.
As Regina’s economic recovery continues, there are even more reasons to be optimistic about the future, with three major announcements having been made across the province in recent weeks:
- Brandt acquired heavy equipment dealer, Cervus Equipment Corporation for a deal worth around $300M. The acquisition makes Regina home to one of the largest privately-held dealership groups in the world and further entrenches Brandt as an anchor company in Regina’s economy.
- BHP Jansen Announcement: The Australian mining, giant BHP announced the single-largest economic investment into Saskatchewan of about $7.5 billion in capital expenditures for their Jansen mine east of Saskatoon. A project that will drive economic and job effects for Regina.
- Finally, Cargill solidified its commitment to Regina by announcing that its newest canola processing facility will be located in the Global Transportation Hub west of Regina.
All in all, the strong employment gains, increased traveler numbers and new investment announcements create a bright picture for Regina’s future. Much still hinges on how the region fares with the pandemic, so as always, be safe and if you haven’t yet, consider getting vaccinated.
By Francis Odum