Did you know that the technology industry in Saskatchewan generates over $10 billion in revenue each year and represents 5.6% of Saskatchewan’s total gross domestic product (GDP)?
This is one of the key findings from the recently released “Saskatchewan Technology Sector Labour Market and Economic Development” spearheaded by SaskInteractive and funded by Innovation Saskatchewan and Western Economic Diversification. Conducted by Nordicity and fully supported on multiple government levels, the report was the first-ever full-scale study of Saskatchewan’s technology sector.
Although the technology industry will no doubt be impacted by the 2020 social distancing economy, the report serves as a benchmark for future growth, as well as providing direction for federal, provincial and municipal programs and policies.
The key findings demonstrate the overall strength of the industry in the province:
Saskatchewan’s tech sector is growing: The ‘core’ technology sector of computer systems, design and related services has grown 38% from 2010 to 2015 and 19% from 2015 to 2018.
The industry is a major employer: 52,300 people work in the tech sector overall, including scientific research, computer services, communications, architecture, engineering and health care. Saskatchewan is home to over 5,000 tech companies employing 31,700 workers.
The tech sector is contributing to the Saskatchewan Economy: The study confirms that technology is a significant economic driver in Saskatchewan, generating over $10-billion in revenue each year and representing 5.6% of Saskatchewan’s total gross domestic product (GDP). Nordicity also estimates that the Saskatchewan Tech Sector contributed $1.3 billion to provincial and federal tax coffers in 2018 ($550M to provincial taxes and $791M in federal taxes).
Technology workers are skilled: On average, tech sector workers in Saskatchewan tend to be more educated, well-paid and more diverse than other sectors. The average tech sector salary is $76,000, which is 43% higher than the average worker in Saskatchewan.
Saskatchewan technology workers have more take-home pay: When comparing wages to living expenses, Saskatchewan software engineers enjoy a higher percentage of surplus income than their counterparts in Vancouver, Toronto, New York City, London England or Singapore.
Most tech workers are from Saskatchewan: with 75% of newly hired workers coming from Saskatchewan, there is a lot of opportunity both for people here and those who want to move here. Local hiring has been partly fueled by the education system, as the number of Tech Student enrollments in Saskatchewan saw a 24% increase between 2009 and 2016, in contrast to only 7% growth in all other fields of study.
The Growth is Expected to Continue: over 800 new workers are expected to be added in the top three IT positions between 2018 and 2022.
The study clearly outlines the Saskatchewan Advantage: strong wages and a lower cost of living for workers; a robust tech sector embracing startups, small businesses and large corporate players; and a collaborative environment where the private sector works with governments to get things done.
Saskatchewan’s technology industry is in an enviable growth position and is poised to weather the new social distancing economy.