According to the Conference Board of Canada, Winnipeg posted a GDP at basic prices of $35 billion (2007 dollars) in 2014, 66 per cent of the provincial economy. Over the last five years, Winnipeg's GDP has increased on average by 2.2 per cent per year. In comparison to other major metropolitan areas across Canada, Winnipeg ranked seventh behind the other centres, up two positions from last year.
Winnipeg Economic Highlights (2009 to 2014)
- Winnipeg’s economy has been relatively stable and has been given a general moderate bill of health. In 2014, Winnipeg’s GDP at basic prices reached $35 billion (2007 dollars). This represents an increase of 2.3 per cent from the previous year. Over the last five years, Winnipeg’s GDP increased by 2.2 per cent per year on average. In relation to the other major census metropolitan areas across Canada, Winnipeg’s growth ranked seventh.
- The population of Winnipeg’s census metropolitan area was 782,640 residents in 2014, increasing by 1.5 per cent over the last five years, the seventh-highest growth rate across the country.
- By the end of 2014, Winnipeg’s labour force supply totaled 436,300 people and grew by 4.7 per cent from 2009. When compared nationally, Winnipeg ranked tenth, with the third-lowest growth rate among the major census metropolitan areas in Canada.
- In 2014, Winnipeg’s participation rate of 67.8 per cent was better than the national rate of 66 per cent. When assessed over a five-year term, Winnipeg’s participation rate declined by 2.3 percentage points, while the national rate dropped by 1.1 percentage points.
- Winnipeg’s unemployment rate averaged 5.8 per cent by the end of 2014 and was lower than the national rate of 6.9 per cent. From 2009 to 2014, Winnipeg’s unemployment rate changed very little. Nationally, the unemployment rate did fluctuate, dropping 1.5 percentage points over the same period.
- Employment growth in Winnipeg’s industries was evident in agriculture, utilities and health care. From 2009 to 2014, these industries grew by 27 to 100 per cent.
- Wages in Manitoba continue to be lower than the average weekly earnings nationally. In 2014, Manitobans earned $863 per week on average, $72 lower than the national average of $935. From 2009 to 2014, these average weekly earnings increased by 2.5 per cent per year on average and kept pace with the national rate of 2.7 per cent. In comparison to other provinces, Manitoba had the fourth-highest growth rate.
- In 2014, Manitoba exports to the world totaled $13.4 billion and increased by 26 per cent from 2009. When compared across the country, Manitoba exports did not keep pace with the other provinces. Overall, Canadian exports increased by 47 per cent.
- Manitoba’s total capital expenditures amounted to $12.4 billion in 2014 and increased by 5.6 per cent per year on average over the last five years, the fourth-largest growth rate across the country.
- Local economic confidence continues when it comes to construction activity in Winnipeg. In 2014, the total building permit value reached a 10-year high of $1.96 billion. Over the last five years, this value has increased by 22 per cent per year on average, which was 14 per cent higher than the national rate and the highest among all other metropolitan centres across Canada.
- In 2014, Winnipeg’s ‘Class A’ office market posted a 10.6 per cent vacancy rate, similar to the national rate. The net rental rate for this space was $16.72 per square foot, the lowest cost among major metropolitan centres across Canada.
- On a per capita basis, Manitoba’s expenditures on research and development were lower than the national average. Canada invested 1.8 per cent of its total GDP on R&D, while Manitoba allocated 1.2 per cent.
- In 2014, the per capita personal disposable income in Winnipeg was $29,958. This was $1,501 lower than the national average. Based on a 10-year period, Winnipeg’s personal disposable income grew by 3.3 per cent per year. During this same period, the personal disposable incomes across the nation grew by 3.9 per cent.
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, advanced manufacturing, tourism, life sciences and creative industries provide a solid economic base that serves the community well. Overall, Winnipeg's diverse economy provides a stable workforce, a low unemployment rate and a cushion against major fluctuations resulting from downturns in the economy.
Winnipeg has an advanced manufacturing sector, which ranges from food and beverage to tractors and other farm equipment, and from 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 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 food products manufacturing and commercialization in functional foods, nutraceuticals, bio-composites and biofuels.