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2019 Employment Equity Targets

April 18, 2019

The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission is pleased to provide businesses, employers, and all interested stakeholders with the latest employment targets for four designated equity groups. These targets reflect the ideal workforce representation of visible minorities, Aboriginal persons, people with disabilities, and women in underrepresented occupations. In turn, these metrics are a benchmark for employers to evaluate their efforts to recruit and retain employees in the four equity groups. Expressed as percentages of the Saskatchewan population, the targets are informed by Statistics Canada’s 2016 Census and prepared with the assistance of the Saskatchewan Bureau of Statistics. 

Every workplace should strive to create a representative for each of the target groups across the range of jobs and roles within its workforce.  It is not sufficient to meet equity targets through the employment of equity group members in entry level positions only. Over time, the recruitment, retention, and promotion of employees within an organization should reflect the true picture of diversity in our society.

The four equity groups are:

  1. Persons reporting an Aboriginal (or Indigenous) identity;
  2. Members of a visible minority group;
  3. Individuals reporting a disability; and
  4. Women in underrepresented occupations.

The recommendations are derived from:

  • 2016 Census of Population (conducted by Statistics Canada);
  • The 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability (conducted by Statistics Canada); and
  • The 2018 Labour Force Survey (conducted by Statistics Canada).

For the purposes of the recommended targets:

  • “Working age” includes those 15 to age 74, and
  • The four equity groups are defined using Statistic Canada’s definitions.

Equity targets in Saskatchewan also vary somewhat depending on location. For example, there are more people who are visible minorities in Regina and Saskatoon than other parts of the province, so the targets for visible minorities are higher in these two cities. Similarly, the targets for the Aboriginal population is higher in the Prince Albert Census Agglomeration (CA) where there is a proportionally larger Aboriginal population.

Aboriginal Identity

According to Statistics Canada, Aboriginal identity can be defined as those who are “First Nations (North American Indian), Métis or Inuk (Inuit) and/or those who are Registered or Treaty Indians (that is, registered under the Indian Act of Canada), and/or those who have membership in a First Nation or Indian band.” Aboriginal peoples of Canada are defined in the Constitution Act, 1982, Section 35 (2) as including the “Indian, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada.”

The growth rates for the Aboriginal identity population for the periods 2011 to 2016, and 2006 to 2016, have been adjusted for incompletely enumerated Indian reserves and Indian settlements, and other changes in reserves to allow for comparison of the different census year periods.

Table 1 shows that the percentage of people identifying as Aboriginal in the province of Saskatchewan in 2016 is 13.7%, That number increases to 34.4% when only the Prince Albert CA is considered. Both the overall provincial and Aboriginal populations have experienced increases since 2016.

An appropriate 2019 equity workplace target for those employees identifying as Aboriginal is 14.0% for the province as a whole, and 35.0% for Prince Albert CA.

Table 1 – Aboriginal Identity Population in Saskatchewan, 15 to 74 Years of Age

Aboriginal Population77,315
% Aboriginal12.5%12.8%
Prince Albert CAPopulation25,41028,49529,54533,245
Aboriginal Population6,7358,59010,22511,440
% Aboriginal26.5%30.1%34.6%34.4%

*15 to 74 age group not published – these figures are for the population 15 to 64 years of age

Sources: 2001 = 97F0011XCB01004, 2006 = 97-558-XCB2006007, 2011 = 99-011-X2011028

** Source: 98-402-X2016009-T1-CMACA-Eng and 98-402-X2016009-T1-CANPR-Eng

Members of a Visible Minority

As with Aboriginal identity, members of a visible minority group must self-identity as belonging to a particular group at the time of census taking. For the purposes of equity targets, the Commission defines members of a visible minority as, “persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are people of colour.”

The Employment Equity Act, S.C. 1995, c.44 defines visible minorities as, “persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour.” Statistics Canada reports that the visible minority population consists mainly of people who are: South Asian, Chinese, Black, Filipino, Latin American, Arab, Southeast Asian, West Asian, Korean, and Japanese.

According to the 2016 Census, members of a visible minority group aged 15 to 74 made up 10.6% of Saskatchewan’s population. In the Census Metropolitan Areas (CMA) of Regina and Saskatoon, members of a visible minority group constitute 16.8% of the population. The proportion is somewhat higher in Regina (17.3%) than in Saskatoon (16.3%).

The Commission’s previous equity targets were set at 6.6% for the province and 11.0% for the cities of Regina and Saskatoon. With population growth, the new recommendations are 10.6% for the province and 16.8% for the cities of Regina and Saskatoon.

Table 2 – Members of a Visible Minority Group in Saskatchewan, 15 to 74 Years of Age

Members of a Visible Minority Group19,47025,23544,57084,115
% Visible Minority Group3.1%3.6%6.6%10.6%
Regina and Saskatoon CMAsPopulation280,615320,465325,835395,005
Members of a Visible Minority Group15,87020,62035,87066,205
% Visible Minority Group5.7%6.4%11.0%16.8%

15 to 74 age group not published – these figures are for the population 15 to 64 years of age
Sources: 2001 = 95F0363XCB01004, 2006 = 97-562-XCB2006017, 2011 = 99-010-X2011029

Persons Reporting a Disability

The previous equity target for people with disabilities of working age was 12.4%. This was based on the Canadian Survey on Disability (CSD) data from 2011.

Table 3 shows that the proportion of the Saskatchewan population aged 15 to 74 years reporting a disability increased to 22.2% in 2017. This represents a 78.7% change since 2011.

The increase can, however, be attributed to a content review of the CSD conducted in 2012, with experts and stakeholders identifying potential data gaps. As a result, new questions were added to the 2017 CSD that made the data collected more comprehensive and representative of the reality of disability in Canada. Based on this more accurate data, the Commission’s 2019 recommendation for the equity target for employment of those with disabilities is 22.2% for the province.

Table 3 – Saskatchewan Persons Reporting a Disability, 15 to 74 Years of Age

20112017Change (%)
Reporting a disability89,220166,27086.4%
Percent Reporting a disability12.4%22.2%78.7%
Women in Underrepresented Occupations

The proportion of women working in underrepresented occupations depends on two factors – the labour market availability of women overall, and the particular occupational groups which are designated as underrepresented.

For example, women represent 23.3% of those working within natural and applied sciences and related occupations. By contrast, women represent 9.4% of those working in transport and heavy equipment operation and related maintenance occupations.

Based on the percentage of women available to work between 15 and 74 years of age, the equity target for any organization is that 47.0% of its workplace will be women, and that employment in those percentages is to be found at all levels of the organization (e.g., management, labour, etc.).

Table 4 – Employment by Sex, Saskatchewan

Total employment537,100555,200557,400
Employed women245,900254,500258,600
Percent women45.8%45.8%46.4%

The Commission recommends organizations use the figures in Table 5 when planning for a representative workforce.

Table 5 – Recommended Targets, 2019

Equity GroupTarget
Aboriginal People
Prince Albert CA35.0%
Members of a Visible Minority Group
Persons with Disabilities22.2%
Women in Underrepresented Occupations47.0%


We are pleased to share the 2019 Equity Targets with your office. As you will see, the recommendations are derived from the 2016 Census of Population, the 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability, and the 2018 Labour Force Survey. The Commission is indebted to the Saskatchewan Bureau of Statistics for assistance given in the interpretation and compiling of this report.

The Commission urges you to review the targets, take stock of your employee team, and tell us where you are doing well, why you are succeeding, and where you need help. Any tips you would like to share that you have learned in the creation of an inclusive and diverse workforce are welcome. Likewise, any questions you have that will help you improve and strengthen your work team are encouraged.

The Commission has a dedicated Business Help Line that is confidential and available free of charge. Our trained staff answer more than 500 calls per year from employers who are looking for guidance.

Last, if you have ideas how your organization might partner with the Commission to improve your workplace, please let us know.