Sask. government insists economy still strong despite layoffs

Hundreds of workers are losing their jobs in Saskatchewan, but the provincial government says the economy remains strong.

Minister Jeremy Harrison says the government will help laid off Staples and Case New Holland employees

Jeremy Harrison, the minister responsible for Trade, addresses media about the Saskatchewan economy on Wednesday after question period at the Saskatchewan Legislature. (CBC)

Hundreds of workers in Saskatchewan have cause for concern.

The Staples call centre in Regina plans to downsize in November and lay off 200 employees. Meanwhile, the Case New Holland plant in Saskatoon has cut 75 staff members and will eliminate another 338 between May and August.

However, Minister Jeremy Harrison said Wednesday the job market in Saskatchewan remains strong despite the layoff announcements.

He said the government will step in to help those affected.

"We've immediately reached out to the employees through our rapid response teams that we have in the Ministry of the Economy," said Harrison, who is responsible for departments including trade and innovation.

He explained that the teams are designed to help people search for new employment and provide services to assist with resumé writing.

Harrison said international events such as the drop in oil prices and the conflict in Ukraine can impact the manufacturing sector in Saskatchewan.