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Saskatchewan manufacturing sales spike in November

Published by CME Staff on January 21, 2014

Saskatchewan manufacturing sales topped $1.4 billion in November — a four per cent jump from October and a 19.6 per cent increase year-over-year, according to figures released today by Statistics Canada.

Cumulative manufacturing sales in the first 11 months of 2013, meanwhile, spiked 7.6 per cent compared to the first 11 months of 2012.

"These numbers are particularly positive because they show diversified growth right across the industry," explains Derek Lothian, Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Manufacturing Council — a new, CME-led initiative, bringing together more than 35 of the province's leading manufacturing executives. "While food manufacturing has experienced the most noteworthy bump, up 21.4 per cent year-over-year, other sub-sectors have seen substantial increases as well, including fabricated metal as well as machinery and equipment, which both increased 8.5 per cent."

Total production output is expected to climb to well over $15 billion in 2013 — an all-time high.

This success comes despite continued labour and skills shortages in the province.

Although the 12-month workforce average for the Saskatchewan manufacturing sector increased 3.6 per cent in 2013 over 2012, more than half of all manufacturers still face deficiencies, costing them more than $1 billion in sales.

"Every dollar in manufacturing output produces roughly $3.15 in total economic activity," says Lothian. "So this isn't just an industry issue; this is an issue that affects every Saskatchewan resident in every corner of the province. That's why we must continue to work alongside our partners at all three levels of government to ensure the necessary policies, programs and services are in place for manufacturers to grow in Saskatchewan and around the world."

To help address these challenges, Premier Brad Wall announced this past October that the provincial government would be partnering with CME in early 2014 to establish the Saskatchewan Manufacturing Centre of Excellence — providing companies new supports in the areas of productivity improvement, workforce development and innovation.

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