Manitoba Occupational Forecasts

Manitoba’s labour market conditions are unique, its economy is vibrant, and is strongly positioned to embrace the opportunities and tackle the challenges of the labour market of the future.

The Manitoba Labour Market Occupational Forecasts 2019 to 2025 (PDF) identifies expected trends for the labour market based on an occupation forecasting model that projects labour market demand and supply for Manitoba occupations at the one-digit National Occupational Classification (NOC) level.

The purpose of the report is to increase understanding of the state of the Manitoba labour market and the key issues involved in achieving its future labour market goals. The forecasts presented in the report are intended to facilitate workforce planning by government and stakeholders, and to promote awareness and discussion about the state of the labour markets and implications for industry and government initiatives.


Executive Summary Click arrow to open

The Manitoba economy will see a total of 159,200 job openings between 2019 and 2025, with 74.8 per cent of these openings to replace worker retirements and deaths. The forecasts predict approximately 22,700 total job openings per year.

Manitoba’s economy will see 158,300 new workers join the labour force between 2019 and 2025, or approximately 22,600 workers a year.

Manitoba’s unemployment rate is expected to decline from 5.8 per cent in 2019 to 5.6 per cent by 2021 and remain at this level over the remainder of the forecast period.

After adjusting for inflation, Manitoba’s economy is expected to grow by an average of 1.5 per cent annually from 2019 to 2025.

Manitoba’s labour market is expected to lift hourly labour income by an average of 2.1 per cent annually over the next seven years. Over the same period, this is expected to push up personal incomes in Manitoba by an average of 3.2 per cent annually.

Total Labour Demand Click arrow to open

A total of 159,200 job openings will be created between 2019 and 2025.

Expansion demand (new jobs due to economic growth) is forecasted to create 40,200 job openings (25.2 per cent of the total). Replacement demand (job openings from retirements and deaths) is forecasted to create 119,000 job openings (74.8 per cent of the total).

The occupation group with the most expected job openings is sales and service at 32,200 or 20.2 per cent of the total Manitoba job openings outlook.

Job openings in business, finance and administration occupations are estimated at 24,800 or 15.6 per cent; and management occupations at 23,900 or 15 per cent.

Within the sales and service occupation group, the highest number of job openings is expected for the following sub-groups: retail salespersons, cleaners, and chefs and cooks.

For all occupation groups, replacement demand is more prominent than expansion demand over the forecast period.

With regard to educational requirements, of the 159,200 forecasted job openings over the seven-year period, approximately 59 per cent are forecasted to require some post-secondary education and training (e.g., college, university, trade certification). The remaining 41 per cent may not require post-secondary training or education, but may have occupation-specific or on-the-job training requirements.

Total Labour Supply Click arrow to open

It is forecasted that there will be an additional 158,300 new workers over the forecast period to offset the total labour demand.

The additional supply is forecasted to consist of 94,500 new entrants, 29,900 net in-migrants and 33,900 net other in-mobility workers.

With 158,300 workers joining the labour force and 119,000 people leaving due to retirements and deaths, the total labour force in Manitoba is projected to increase by 39,300 persons over the forecast period.

Gaps in Demand versus Supply Click arrow to open

Overall, Manitoba’s labour market is expected to remain balanced over the projection period, with the overall supply for labour adequate to meet labour demand. However, labour shortages or surpluses may exist for individual occupations and in some regions of the province. In each year from 2019 to 2025, labour supply exceeds labour demand by an average of 10,200 workers.

Over the forecast period, total labour demand growth will outpace total labour supply growth by 500 workers. The unemployment rate is expected remain fairly consistent over the forecast period. Overall, the unemployment rate is forecasted to decline from 5.8 per cent in 2019 to 5.6 per cent in 2021 and remain at that level over the remainder of the forecast period.

Why do the numbers change? Click arrow to open

As the economy changes, the macroeconomic assumptions and data underlying this report are updated regularly with the best data available at the time. For example, economic changes like the oil-price decrease of 2014/15 and ongoing, weaker than expected domestic economic performance, have widespread implications for the labour market in Manitoba, Canada, and around the world.

SECINC’s latest projections note significant concerns surrounding both the Canadian and world economy, including continued threats on trade, slower U.S. growth and struggling energy provinces in Canada, as well as significant fiscal cut-backs and restraints across Ontario and several other provinces impacting Canadian trade. As a result of these challenges, firms are expected to restrain hiring in 2019 and 2020 in Manitoba, significantly impacting expansion demand when compared to previous forecasts. This trend is expected to continue without significant economic expansion or recovery.

In this latest iteration, the model has also been updated to use SECINC’s population projections. Previously, projections provided by the Manitoba Bureau of Statistics were used. By using population estimates that are based on projected economic demand as an input, the model now compares relative population growth rates and labour market conditions across the country and adjusts interprovincial population flows based on these conditions. The model assumes that workers will generally move for better employment conditions.

As a result of increased unemployment in this report, fewer workers are projected to move to the province over this forecast period compared to previous iterations, which will slow job creation and further impact expansion demand.

The increased unemployment rate is also impacting the participation rate as workers are discouraged from the labour market. This is having the impact of raising retirement rates, which offsets some of the loss in new jobs from expansion.

Over time, a lower level of employment will result in a lower level of replacement demand, as a lower labour base will mean a constant rate of retirements/deaths will lead to a lower absolute level of retirements/ deaths. In addition, changes to the population assumptions have had a small impact on retirement and death levels. The latest population estimates show a population pyramid that is slightly less skewed to the older age groups, this in turn will also impact the retirement and death levels.

Of note, when summing up and compounding growth rates, small changes can appear more significant, especially if the early years are adjusted.

Finally every update of the report covers a new seven-year period. As a result, direct comparison of the labour supply and demand forecasts year-over-year is not advised.

Please see Chapter 3 and Appendix 1 for more information on the methodology and macroeconomic assumptions behind this report.

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