The Conference Board of Canada projects Winnipeg’s GDP to accumulate $33.9 billion (2007 dollars) worth of goods and services in 2013. Over the previous five years, Winnipeg's GDP has increased on average by 1.4 per cent per year. For 2014, a growth rate of 1.8 per cent is projected.
Winnipeg Economic Highlights (2008 to 2013)
- Gains in population growth accelerated after 2006, primarily from international migration, moving past the national average in 2008. Winnipeg's population increased by 1.6 per cent to reach 771,221 residents in 2013. An estimated inflow of 11,715 immigrants will be the main driver of Winnipeg's annual growth of 11,910 individuals.
- Winnipeg’s labour force is increasing but at a slower rate than the rest of the country. From 2008 to 2013, the labour force increased by 6.2 per cent.
- The level of participation for Winnipeg in 2013 was 2.8 points higher than the Canadian average at 69.3 per cent. Over a 10-year period, the proportion of Winnipeg aged 15+ who were actively participating in the labour force declined marginally from 70.1 per cent to 69.3 per cent.
- Winnipeg’s economy has been operating at a high capacity due to a stable unemployment rate. In 2013, Winnipeg’s unemployment rate of 5.9 per cent was 1.2 percentage points lower than the national average.
- Employment growth over the last five years among Winnipeg’s key industry sectors was most evident in agriculture (85 per cent); information, culture and recreation (18.7 per cent); and utilities (16.3 per cent). The growth in the information, culture and recreation sector was the second-highest among all the major metropolitan areas across Canada. The finance and related sector experienced the sharpest decline at 11.2 per cent over the five-year period.
- 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 information and cultural industries; professional, scientific and technical services; manufacturing; and the arts, entertainment and recreation sectors. The average weekly earnings in Winnipeg increased by 12 per cent from 2008.
- A growing share of income in Manitoba was generated by exports over the last 10 years. This was evident from 2005 to 2008, where Manitoba exports grew from 26 per cent to 33 per cent of GDP. Partly driven by the favourable U.S. exchange rate, Manitoba exports grew rapidly during this period. In 2013, Manitoba exports to the world totalled $12.6 billion and represented 24.2 per cent of its total GDP.
- A strong sense of confidence and productivity was apparent in capital investment activity in Manitoba. Total capital expenditures amounted to $12.6 billion in 2013. On a per capita basis, this came out to $9,943 per head in Manitoba, $1,399 lower than the national figure. In comparison to the other provinces, Manitoba ranked fifth overall.
- Local economic confidence was evident in construction activity. In 2013, the total building permit value reached a 10-year high of $1.81 billion. Over the last 10 years, building permit values have increased by 16 per cent per year on average, which is 10 per cent higher than the national rate and the fourth-highest rate in comparison to other metropolitan centres.
- In 2013, Winnipeg’s overall office vacancy rate totalled 9.4 per cent, as did the national rate. As a reflection of this, Winnipeg’s Class “A” Net Rental Rate was at $15.81 per square foot. This was the lowest rate among major metropolitan centres.
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)