About 95% of all goods produced in the province directly depend on its basic resources (grains, livestock, oil and gas, potash, uranium and wood, and their refined products). In addition, the individuals and firms involved in these industries make purchasing decisions that drive the rest of the economy; farmers, mining companies, and the manufacturers processing primary products purchase the bulk of the non-resource manufactured output and business services produced in the province.
There are a number of means of measuring the scope and scale of the economy. The conventional method is to look at distribution of value-added activity by sector. The provincial economic accounts show that the province has moved rapidly from an agrarian and resource-based economy into a services-propelled region. This transformation has been mirrored by the shift of employment between those sectors. This approach overstates the shifts of activity away from the commodity market drivers. The move from goods to services production is at least partly the result of greater specialization. For instance, as farmers use more inputs and out-source more of their trucking and financial management, the value and employment created are now counted as manufacturing, transportation, wholesale trade, finance, or business services. The final market for many of the new processing or service jobs remains as embedded value in exported commodities: in agriculture, for example, only about 40% of the export value of our products is added on-farm.
After more than a century of commercial development, the provincial gross domestic product in 2008 was $41.6 billion, equal to about 3% of the Canadian economy. The average per capita income was approximately $35,400, equal to about 96% of the national average. The provincial average per capita income in 2008 was almost four times the global average and would earn Saskatchewan a position among the most affluent regions in the world.
Information in this section was provided by the Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan. For more information on Saskatchewan, including 2,200 individual entries, 21 in-depth essays and over 1,000 maps, charts and photographs, please visit their website.