The Conference Board of Canada projects Winnipeg’s GDP to accumulate $33.7 billion (2007 dollars) worth of goods and services in 2013, up 1.6 per cent from the previous year. This growth is attributed to a healthy goods sector, which expanded 2.7 per cent. For 2014, a growth rate of two per cent is projected.
Winnipeg Economic Highlights (2007 to 2012)
- Gains in population growth accelerated after 2006, primarily from international migration, moving past the national average in 2008. In comparison to the other major metropolitan areas across Canada, Winnipeg’s population growth was moderate at 1.5 per cent from 2007 to 2012.
- Growth among Winnipeg’s key industry sectors totalled $13 billion in 2012 with the ICT, creative industries and tourism sectors each posting a 2.8 per cent growth rate per year over the last five years.
- Employment among Winnipeg’s 10 key industry sectors represents 44 per cent of all industries. The most evident growth was experienced in the energy and environment sector at five per cent per year from 2007 to 2012. About 8,500 people are employed in this sector.
- The changes in the average wage structure showed evidence of a shifting mix of higher and lower value-added jobs within an industry. This was apparent in the energy and environment and ICT sectors, which increased by six per cent on average per year. The energy and environment, aerospace and financial services sectors recorded the highest weekly earnings at $1,208, $971 and $902 respectively.
- A growing share of income in Manitoba over the last 10 years was generated by exports. The total exports as a percentage of GDP increased by 29.2 per cent on average over the last five years.
- A strong sense of confidence and productivity was apparent in capital investment activity in Manitoba. This increased by 7.6 per cent each year on average, 3.8 per cent higher than the national average.
- Local economic confidence was evident in construction activity. In 2012, total building permit values reached a 10-year high of $1.65 billion. The 10-year average for building permit values was $980 million, with phenomenal growth experienced over the last five years.
- Builders increased housing starts by an annual average rate of four per cent, bringing them to 4,600 in 2012—a level not seen since the late 1980s. Growth was driven by low interest rates and strong population growth due to the provincial nominee program.
Winnipeg Economic Overview
Winnipeg has one of the most diverse economies of any major city in Canada. Winnipeg’s aerospace, finance and insurance, transportation, agribusiness, information technology, furniture and apparel industries provide a solid economic base that serves the community well. Overall, Winnipeg's diverse economy provides a stable workforce, low unemployment rate and a cushion against major fluctuations resulting from downturns in the economy.
Winnipeg has the most diversified advanced manufacturing sector in Western Canada, which ranges from food and beverage to tractors and other farm equipment, municipal and inter-urban buses to specialty steel products, electrical components, aerospace components, chemicals, plastics, furniture and much more. Advanced manufacturers can source many of their inputs from other firms and draw on a large pool of skilled labour; much of this activity is export oriented. Bus and tractor manufacturers export most of their output, for example, making motor vehicles one of Manitoba’s largest categories of export.
Winnipeg also has a long history as a major financial centre and is the headquarters of some of Canada’s most prominent investment firms and insurance companies. Adding to this is Winnipeg’s historical strength in aerospace and food products manufacturing and commercialization in functional foods, nutraceuticals, bio-composites and biofuels.
Economic Structure by Major Metropolitan Areas (2013)