Regional Overview

Business in the Southeast Saskatchewan

Over the last decade Saskatchewan has emerged as a strong economy on the national stage.  The price of agricultural commodities, and the wealth of minerals and resources the province processes, such as potash and oil, which are now in high demand around the world has allowed Saskatchewan to become one of the “have” provinces in Canada.  Exploration in new technologies, science and industry has also been at the forefront of the province’s activities.  This has translated into the emergence of many new businesses and jobs in Saskatchewan creating a very healthy economy with sustained growth and potential for the future.

According to Enterprise Saskatchewan, most economic forecasters expect that Saskatchewan was a leader among the provinces in economic growth in 2010 and will be again in 2011 and 2012. In 2010 Saskatchewan’s Real GDP grew by 4.0%.  For 2011, the average forecast for Saskatchewan is 3.7%, second among the provinces and above the national rate of 2.3%.  For 2012, the average forecast for Saskatchewan is 3.0%, first among the provinces and above the Canadian average of 2.1%. (source: Saskatchewan Monthly Economic Indicators Report, February 2012)

With its oil and gas sector booming, and strong agricultural and mining and energy sectors, business activity and economic strength coupled with the forecast continued growth, the Saskatchewan south east is in a positive position for expanding its markets regionally, nationally and globally.

Quick Facts Overview:

  • The population of the region is approximately 56,500. South East Saskatchewan is anchored by two cities, Weyburn in the west-central and Estevan 84 kilometres to the south east.  Weyburn’s population exceed 11,000 and Estevan’s exceeds 12,300. (Source: 2011 Saskatchewan Covered Health Statistics)
  • The primary industries in the region include: Oil and GasAgriculture , Mining and Energy , Manufacturing , Tourism.
  • A recent analysis completed by Saskatchewan South East Enterprise Region (SSEER) Inc. of south east Saskatchewan indicates approximately 4,000 businesses are established in the region.
  • Two primary trade market areas extend 100 kilometres outward from the cities of Estevan and Weyburn.

Created by SSEER using Reilly's Law of Retail Gravitation


  • A much larger trading area radiates 200 kilometres from the regions centre.  Many communities in the south east Saskatchewan region have also established unique trading patterns (micro-trade areas) based on the community’s proximity to other centres such as Moose Jaw and Regina, Saskatchewan, Brandon and Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Minot and Bismark, North Dakota.
  • 35% of all 4,000 businesses are businesses linked to the key industry sectors of oil and gas, agriculture, and mining and energy.
  • Approximately 2,600 service businesses, or 65%, are secondary, service and support businesses which provide a strong quality of life to the region.
  • According to a 2009 Competitive Advantage Analysis, defined by Doug Elliott of SaskTrends Monitor, he rates manufacturing, retail sales, and business services as emerging strengths, and mining, oil and gas resources, transportation, construction, information and culture as retention targets for the southeast region.
  • The Saskatchewan south east’s competitive advantages include strong oil & gas, agricultural, mining and energy, and tourism sectors.

    • In 2009 Saskatchewan produced $1.4 billion in oil and gas revenue through royalty tax and land sales, $553 million, or 38.08%, of this can be attributed to the south east. The region has a thriving economy and is a location where people want to be.
    • South east Saskatchewan’s strength in Agriculture lies with cereal crops: (definition: a grass such as wheat, oats, or corn, the starchy grains of which are used as food).  South east Saskatchewan lies within Canada’s most important grain-producing region. In 2006, six million hectares of all classes of wheat were produced in Saskatchewan. Interestingly, 6% of this wheat was produced in southeast Saskatchewan.
  • Since 2006 changes have emerged in growing patterns as producers continue to utilize advanced technology and new techniques for planning purposes.
  • The types of cereal crops grown in the region include: wheat: 384,722 hectares, Oats: 56,643 hectares, Barley: 80,284 hectares.  There are presently 4,130 farms: in south east Saskatchewan.  The average farm size is 1,541 acres (17% larger than the average Saskatchewan farm).  The average total farm capital is $768,642 (14% higher than the average Saskatchewan farm).
  • The Saskatchewan south east region has three coal producing mines.  These are the only producing mines in the province.
  • The coal mines in southern Saskatchewan directly employ in excess of 650 people in various capacities of operations. The average salary for an employee working in the sector in south east Saskatchewan is $58,564.
  • Over 70% of the electricity in the province comes from coal-fired power stations which are located in southern Saskatchewan.
  • In 2008, tourism generated about $71.9 million in consumer spending in south east Saskatchewan.  The tourism sector is a major direct and indirect contributor to the economy of the region and source of many jobs, direct and indirectly tied to the sector.
  • As “stay-cations”, (a common choice for vacationers, it is essentially a trip or vacation made at home or within the immediate region) become more popular in Saskatchewan, the abundance of possibilities from experiences in nature, parks and walking tours to museums, historic landmarks, golf courses, theatre, and casinos, the quaint, unique and rare locations have strengthened the south east region’s appeal as a destination location.
  • Research and study is ongoing through organizations such as Saskatchewan Southeast Tourism Association, to improve how opportunities in tourism can be marketed year-round to audiences both within the southeast Saskatchewan region and outside the region.