The unemployment rate is low nationally and in the Moose Jaw area according to data from Statistics Canada, and with oil trending upwards, the job situation in the southwest looks encouraging.
"It's been a much better year this year than last," said Gasbuddy Senior Petroleum Analyst Dan McTeague. "And that's mostly due to the fact that at this time last year we were looking at $42, $43 a barrel. This year, of course, we're pushing at $56, $57, even $58 in some instances. And while the Canadian version of oil is discounted because we don't have enough pipeline to get product to market, the fact is that $10 increase on a barrel of oil has translated into more upbeat economic activity."
Since a lot of people that work in the oil industry in southwest Saskatchewan come from other places for the work, unemployment numbers don't tell the complete story of how things are for jobs in the area. The data doesn't differentiate between full-time and part-time work either.
McTeague said for the domestic oil industry to be churning on all cylinders, there'd have to be deregulation.
"So while the news is good, it could be a lot better if the climate were a little bit more ammenable to business," he said. "Which of course, considering other regulatory delays, environmental concerns, social license, all of these things that confuse businesses, perhaps it's much easier for them to go somewhere else to make their investments, and that unfortunately means that we have seen a loss in economic activity in the billions of dollars over the past couple years as a result of that."
Either way, with the price of oil increasing, and, according to McTeague, supply in good shape, it bolsters the amount of work in southwest Saskatchewan.