REGINA -- Saskatchewan’s unemployment rose to 11.3 per cent in April, according to new numbers released by Statistics Canada.

The number rose from 7.3 per cent in March.

The province saw 52,900 job losses from March to April, including 39,900 full-time jobs, the Labour Force Survey says.

Premier Scott Moe said in his opening remarks Friday the numbers are alarming, but noted Saskatchewan’s job loss rate is still the lowest in the country.

“This is a huge number of jobs lost, and this is very concerning,” Moe said. “But it’s actually less than any other province in Canada.”

Saskatchewan’s total unemployment rate is also the second lowest in Canada.

“The fact is, Saskatchewan is weathering the storm better than many provinces,” Moe continued.

In a virtual press conference Friday morning, NDP Leader Ryan Meili said the province needs to take an approach that looks for ways to help improve the resiliency of the economy.

Meili also said he still believes phase two of the Reopen Saskatchewan plan should be delayed for fear of what a second shut down could cause.

“If we do this wrong, we will see more people get sick and we’ll see businesses that have opened their doors shutting down again,” Meili said. “We’ll see those job losses go from temporary to permanent.”

The survey looked at jobs lost between April 12 to 18.

There were 73,700 fewer jobs in April 2020 when compared to April 2019.

Saskatchewan lost 20,900 jobs in March, according to last month’s Labour Force Survey.

Regina’s unemployment rate sat at 8.6 per cent in April, compared to 7.2 per cent in March. Saskatoon rose to 9.8 per cent unemployment in April, jumping from 7.1 per cent in March.

John Hopkins, the CEO of the Regina and District Chamber of Commerce, said these are challenging times for businesses but is hopeful the stats will improve as the economy restarts.

“We’ll start to see that reduced somewhat as we go through phase one and now into phase two on the 19th,” Hopkins said.

Canada’s unemployment rate rose to 13 per cent in April and the country lost nearly two million jobs last month.

With files from The Canadian Press