Premier and Minister of Finance Sandy Silver today tabled a new forecast for Yukon’s finances and economy as part of the 2019–20 Budget.
The fiscal picture shows a plan that remains on track from last year’s budget. The government is still forecasting a return to a surplus in 2020–21 while also ensuring that it adequately addresses the needs of current and future Yukoners.
The Outlook describes a robust economy highlighted by historically low unemployment rates, rising incomes, strong retail sales, a thriving construction industry and a growing population. Looking forward the medium-term is expected to show further population growth, continued strength in the labour market and continued gains in retail sales.
The outlook for key industries supports the positive economic forecast. Development and subsequent production from two new mines are key drivers of the current forecast, with production from the Eagle Gold mine slated to begin later this year. In addition Yukon’ s tourism sector is expected to continue to build on recent strength with further increases in the number of visitors and associated spending expected in each of the next three years.
Yukon’s economy is in the midst of a strong expansion reflected in a number of economic indicators. Record low unemployment, continued population growth, growth in retail sales and real GDP all speak to a positive local economy. The 2019–20 Budget sets forth a plan that continues investing in services and industries to meet the needs of a growing and aging population while finding efficiencies where possible.
Minister of Finance Sandy Silver
Over the last decade Yukon’s population has grown faster than any other Canadian jurisdiction, passing 40,000 for the first time in 2018.
Yukon’s labour market has been one of the strongest in Canada in recent years with consecutive record lows for the territory’s annual unemployment rate in 2017 (3.6 per cent) and 2018 (2.7 per cent).
Average weekly earnings for Yukon were reported at $1,154.29 in December 2018, representing the third highest in Canada after the Northwest Territories ($1,426.37) and Nunavut ($1,274.90). The December 2018 figure was up 5.6 per cent compared to the figure for December 2017, with growth far outpacing national gains of 1.8 per cent.
Tourism continues to grow in the territory with estimates of overnight visitors and spending both up in 2018, reaching 355,000 (up 4.6 per cent) and $324 million (up 6.1 per cent), respectively.
The inclusion of an integrated forecast with the annual budget began with the 2017-18 Budget.