The Conference Board of Canada projects Winnipeg’s real gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2011 at 1.8% and 2.4% in 2012. Winnipeg’s manufacturing sector fell by 1.5% in 2010 but is expected to grow moderately to a 0.7% gain in 2011 and then start to see stronger growth of 3.8% in 2012. Aerospace activity is expected to drive this surge. Construction growth rose by 8.5% in 2010. Housing starts fell to just under 3,000 units in 2011 but an improving economy will help boost housing demand and allow starts to grow to 3,100 units in 2012. The drop in starts this year will hold total construction sector output to a gain of 1.7% for 2011.
The conference Board of Canada projects Winnipeg’s GDP in 2011 to accumulate $26.1 billion (2002$) worth of goods and services. The unemployment rate is expected to come in at 5.7%.
Population in the Winnipeg census metropolitan area (CMA) is poised to increase by 1.5% in 2011 and by at least 1.3% in each year throughout the forecast period.
Winnipeg’s economic highlights from 2000 to 2010
- Gains in population growth accelerated after 2006 primarily from international migration, moving past the national average in 2008.
- Over the last 10 years, Winnipeg’s employment growth was moderate and overshadowed by several other major metropolitan areas in Canada.
- 3,300 jobs were added to the local economy among the 10 key industry sectors from 2005 to 2010. Driving this growth was the life sciences, ICT, aerospace and advanced manufacturing industry sectors.
- The changes in the average wage structure among Winnipeg’s key industries is evidence of a shifting mix of higher and lower value-added jobs. This was apparent in the aerospace and energy and environment industry sectors.
- Labour force participation increased from 69.0% to 70.5% over the last five years. This was the highest among all the selected metropolitan areas in Canada.
- Winnipeg’s economy has been operating at a high capacity and at a stable rate due to a declining unemployment rate. Winnipeg’s rate has consistently been lower than those nationally.
- A growing share of income in Manitoba was generated by exports over the last 10 years.
- A strong sense of confidence and productivity was apparent in capital investment activity in Manitoba. This increased by 11.3% per year on average, 6.6% higher than the national average.
- Local economic confidence was evident in construction activity. The 10-year average for building permit values in Winnipeg was $7.9 billion with the last five years showing phenomenal growth.
- Both the office and industrial real estate markets in Winnipeg experienced solid activity over recent years. This is expected to continue with low office vacancies of 7.7% and industrial property availability rates of 3.5%.
- The level of research and development activity in Manitoba has lagged behind the rest of the country. Manitoba expenditures in natural sciences and engineering and social sciences and humanities totalled $450 per capita, $282 lower than the national average in 2009.
- The economic well-being of residents living in Winnipeg lost ground when compared across the country. The personal disposable income among Winnipeggers fell from 6th place in 2000 to 7th place in 2010. Families in Winnipeg also have the 4th lowest family household income among the major centres in Canada.
Economic Performance Indicators
2013 Economic Performance Indicators
In recent studies, Winnipeg has been viewed as having one of the most diverse economies of any major city in Canada. Winnipeg’s aerospace, finance and insurance, transportation, agri-business, information technology, furniture and apparel industries provides a solid economic base, which serves the community well. Overall, Winnipeg’s diverse economy provides a stable workforce, low unemployment rates and a cushion against major fluctuations based on downturns in the economy.
Winnipeg Key Economic Indicators
To discuss Economic Development in Winnipeg, please contact:
Senior Manager, Strategic Research
E: Edward Suzuki