RETAIL SALES UP, EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE DOWN
Saskatchewan shoppers and retailers were busy in November 2013 as retail sales climbed both annually and on a month-over-month basis.
Statistics Canada reported today that retail sales were up 1.0 per cent in November 2013 over October, the third month-over-month increase of the last four months. Saskatchewan had the second highest percentage increase among the provinces. Nationally, sales were up 0.6 per cent over the same period.
At the same time, another report on Employment Insurance (EI) released today highlighted that for the month of November 2013, Saskatchewan had the largest decrease in the nation of regular EI beneficiaries (13.9 per cent) compared to November 2012 (and the second largest decrease compared to October 2013).
“Today’s reports point to the overall strength of Saskatchewan’s economy,” Economy Minister Bill Boyd said. “Rising retail sales show there’s an increase in consumer confidence, while at the same time, fewer Saskatchewan people are collecting employment insurance because of our strong labour market.”
In Saskatchewan, 1.2 per cent of the working-age population (15+) received EI benefits in November 2013 compared to 1.8 per cent nationally. Saskatchewan had the second lowest number of EI beneficiaries as a percentage of the working-age population, behind Alberta at 0.9 per cent.
“Saskatchewan’s robust economy is benefitting both businesses and consumers,” Boyd said. “Job opportunities have never been greater and we are fortunate to have the means to spend more of our earnings which in turn contributes to a stronger, growing economy.”
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