Recently a delegation from the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference was in New Brunswick and I got a chance to sit down with them to discuss economic, demographic and social trends in the province. During that discussion, the delegate from Saskatchewan made a heartfelt speech about the dramatic economic changes in her home province and how this has changed not only the economy but how people feel about their communities and their province. She said places like New Brunswick should look to Saskatchewan as an example of the possibilities.
My column this week in the Economy Lab will discuss this.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, the following three graphs tell the tale. Employment income growth – per person claiming employment income on their tax form – was the highest in Saskatchewan from 2000 to 2010 – double the national growth rate.
Another sign of the new wealth has been the rise in declared investment income (again from tax returns). In Sask, the total amount rose by 93% over the decade. Interesting to note that total investment income in New Brunswick grew slower than any other province over the decade.
It is interesting to note that social assistance recipients declined by 11.5% in Saskatchewan from 2000 to 2010 but the amount per person collecting grew by 61%. It’s hard to say with 100% certainty based only on this data but it sure looks like the provincial government has turned some of the proceeds of the economic success into its social safety net.