With Weyburn and the area continuing to see an unemployment rate well below the national and provincial averages, it brings the question of how can employers find the people they need to fill the jobs that are vacant. It is something that Weyburn has been looking at for a few years now, and a campaign last year kickstarted things by asking the question, “Why not Weyburn?”

Jeff Richards is a city councillor in Weyburn. He has also worked with the Weyburn Chamber of Commerce, and Weyburn Regional Economic Development.

“The population isn’t growing at a rate quick enough to fill all the roles that are posted in the community, and the entire southeast,” Richards explained. “So that is a definite challenge that we’re working to address with a few different tools.”

One of those tools is investing in the infrastructure of the city, as well as the amenities of the community. Facilities like the Credit Union Spark Centre, upgrades to the walking paths in the community and more have helped to showcase what can be done for recreation in Weyburn.

There are also other initiatives underway to bring more amenities, such as the group behind the construction of a new theatre in Weyburn.

“Families that seek out communities to move to look for those kinds of amenities,” Richards added. “They look for communities that are diverse in their economic activity, but also diverse in their recreation and leisure.”

The Why Not Weyburn campaign is one of the ways that the amenities of Weyburn, and the way of life here, have been showcased.

Speaking last year, city councillor Ryan Janke pointed out that aside from the amenities, there is a lot to offer in Weyburn.

“Here, it’s still affordable, we’re still growing, it’s small, it’s safe, it’s communable,” Janke told Discover Weyburn at the time. “I think we all know Weyburn has a lot to offer, and that’s the message that we have to get out.”

Richards also mentioned something else that can help to entice people to move to Weyburn, where the average home prices are well below centres like Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and even Regina.

“A lot of folks in this world, we’ve learned through the pandemic, that you don’t necessarily need to be in your office for forty hours a week to do good work,” Richards said, referencing how work from home has become a viable option for many thanks to the technology infrastructures that are now in place. “So, we’re encouraging folks from all over Canada, and everywhere actually, to look at a place like Weyburn as a great spot to raise your family.”

With an unemployment rate sitting at 3 percent, there is also competition for jobs, which can lead to higher wages as employers compete for employees. This does have a bit of a double-edged sword, as it can be a cause of inflation when small businesses look to be able to afford to hire staff, which means an increase in their prices.

However, an increase in wages also means that when other items start to see a reduction in prices, there can be more income available to be spent within the community, which results in the growth of the economy for the region.

Job vacancies are also high in Weyburn across a variety of industries. As of Tuesday evening, there were 369 jobs available in Weyburn on the provincial government’s job site, SaskJobs. Of those, 67 had been posted since Monday. The site also has another 497 jobs available in Estevan and its surrounding areas.

Those numbers of course are only the ones that are posted to the provincial site and don’t include other jobs that may have been posted to the national job bank or many of the other job sites that are out there. With the numbers from Statistics Canada showing there are 1200 people who are 15 and older in the southeast who are looking for work, with at least 866 jobs available, you can see why the need for more people in the area is crucial for the growth of the southeast.