Economic Scan - Manitoba
- The proportion of seniors aged 65+ is projected to increase by 49.8% between 2021 and 2043.
- Workers in Manitoba are relatively young. In 2022, individuals aged 55-64 accounted for 15.7% of the working-age (15-64) population in Manitoba, compared to 17.5% in Canada.
- The proportion of youth (15-29) is projected to decline from 20.1% in 2022 to 19.0% in 2042.
- Manitoba boasts the youngest population of all provinces in Canada, muting the effects of an aging workforce. In 2022, 39.1% of residents were under 30.
The Indigenous population comprises 18.1% of the total Manitoba population (2021 Census), and continues to be under-represented in the labour market, accounting for 13.5% of the labour force. Labour shortages for occupations such as nurses and pilots present greater challenges for northern communities that are geographically isolated.
1.4 million people lived in Manitoba in 2022, an increase of 1.2% from 2021. Manitoba represents 3.6% of Canada's total population.
Manitoba has the highest Indigenous (18.1%) and Filipino (7.2%) population by proportion in the country. The next highest are Saskatchewan (17.0%) and Alberta (4.0%), respectively.
Recent immigrants made up 4.4% of employment in Manitoba in 2022, behind only B.C. (5.4%) and Ontario (4.5%). The provincial government is boosting the number of skilled immigrants in the province by increasing nominations through the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program by nearly 50%. The province may welcome as many as 9,500 successful applicants in 2023.
In 2017, 22.5% of the labour force were persons with disabilities, the highest percentage of all western provinces. A disproportionate percentage of males with disabilities were employed (69.3%) than females (60.9%). Both figures outpace the national proportions of 61.8% and 57.4%, respectively. The 2017 survey also identified a wage gap for persons with disabilities in Canada. The Province took steps to address this issue in 2022 with a new income-support program.
Labour Market Conditions
Employment increased (+3.2%)
Unemployment decreased sharply (-28.5%)
Unemployment rate fell (6.5% to 4.6%)
Participation rate was unchanged (66.7%)
Manitoba Unemployment Rate
Show data table: Unemployment Rate
|Year||Unemployment Rate (%)|
- The unemployment rate reached an all-time low in June (4.0%), and remained one of the lowest in the country the rest of the year. Moving forward, the rate is expected to remain around 5.0% in 2023.
- Since 2019 the job vacancy rate in Manitoba has almost doubled. Low unemployment and high job vacancies will cushion a slowing economy that began as interest rates climbed toward the end of the year.
Manitoba's Economic Drivers in 2022
High commodity prices
Low interest rates
Show data table: Forecasted GDP Growth Rate
|Year||Forecasted GDP Growth Rate|
- High commodity prices and improved yields gave a needed boost to the agricultural sector in 2022 after severe drought in 2021.
- Transportation and warehousing also benefitted from a banner year in agriculture. The sector started the year strong while interest rates were still low, but slowed down as interest rates reduced consumer spending through the end of the year.
- CentrePort Canada Inc. is taking advantage of Manitoba's geographical position to develop the North America's largest trimodal inland port. Construction on the $2.5B rail park will happen over a decade or more.
- After a long period of uncertainty, there is renewed interest in mining in Manitoba. Exploration has increased as demand for critical minerals that are necessary for a clean energy transition increases.
- GDP has been forecasted to decline in Manitoba to about 1% from 3.7% in 2022 before rebounding above 2% in 2024 and 2025.
Risks to the Manitoba Economy in 2023
- Interest rates forecasted to remain high through 2023.
- Fluctuations in commodity prices.
- Market volatility caused by the war in Ukraine, particularly for commodities.
- Persistent inflation.
- Labour shortages.
Almost twice as many people left Manitoba (-22,199) for other provinces than migrated to the province (+11,996) in 2022. More people have left for other provinces almost every year since records began in 1976. Despite the chronic out-migration, the population has grown approximately 30% over that same time. Immigration has been a main source of population growth. A record 21,630 people immigrated from other countries to the province in 2022.
Show data table
|Industry (NAICS)||Employment Growth ('000s)|
|Finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing||5.6|
|Accommodation and food services||3.9|
|Professional, scientific and technical services||3.9|
|Business, building and other support services||2.5|
|Information, culture and recreation||2.0|
|Other services (except public administration)||0.9|
|Forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas||0.9|
|Health care and social assistance||-1.3|
|Transportation and warehousing||-1.5|
|Wholesale and retail trade||-3.9|
- By percentage, employment in forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas grew the most from 2021 to 2022, driven by high commodity prices and renewed demand for oil.
- Agriculture lost the most workers by volume and percentage. A range of factors such as weather, farm consolidation, retirements, and workers leaving for other high-demand industries played a role in the decline.
- Although employment in construction increased it was not enough to overcome the number of new vacancies in the sector, which rose by approximately 1,000 positions. Demand for construction workers remains high.
- Employment in educational services increased by 8.4% between 2021 and 2022, partly due to over $100M in extra temporary funding from the provincial government, which has now been made permanent.
Regional Economic Conditions
- Employment gains in the Southeast were largely driven by the proximity to Winnipeg, as the surrounding communities added new residents, new businesses, and new facilities.
- The unemployment rate was lowest in the Parklands and Northern region at 3.9%, a 2.2 percentage point drop over 2021, mostly due to a drop in the labour force (-1,300 or -2.0%).
- Employment gains in the Winnipeg region were greatest in accommodation and food services, followed by finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing, and professional, scientific, and technical services.
Employment Growth by Economic Region, 2022
Show data table
|Economic Region||Employment Growth (%)|
|South Central and North Central||3.5|
|Parklands and Northern||0.3|
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