Manitoba Labour Market Outlook

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 Outlook Report 2021-2025 (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.

Beginning with this forecast, we utilize a new forecasting model developed with assistance from Workplace Education Manitoba to produce labour supply and demand projections for a five-year period. As a result of changes to the methodology and timeframe used in this report, numbers from previously published Occupational Labour Market Forecast Reports cannot be compared with forecast data going forward.

Manitoba's new occupational model explores linkages between industries, occupations, educational programs, skills and other attributes required for employment.


Executive Summary Click arrow to open

The Manitoba economy will see a total of 141,700 job openings between 2021 and 2025, with 57 per cent of these openings to replace worker retirements and deaths. The forecasts predict approximately 28,300 total job openings per year.

Manitoba's economy will see 112,100 new workers join the employed labour force between 2021 and 2025, or approximately 22,400 workers per year.

Manitoba's unemployment rate is expected to decline from 8.0 per cent in 2020 to 6.2 per cent by 2021, before dropping back to more normal levels of 5.1 and 5.0 per cent over the remainder of the forecast period.  Prior to the emergence of COVID-19, Manitoba's unemployment rate was projected at approximately 5.1 per cent during the entire forecast period.

Transportation and warehousing; Forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas; and Health care and social assistance are anticipated to be the fastest growing Manitoba industries between 2021 and 2025.

Manitoba's Southeast, Southwest and Winnipeg regions are estimated to be Manitoba's fastest growing economic regions between 2021 and 2025.

Total Labour Demand Click arrow to open

A total of 141,700 job openings will be created between 2021 and 2025. Expansion demand (new jobs due to economic growth) is forecasted to create 60,300 job openings (43 per cent of the total). Replacement demand (job openings from retirements and deaths) is forecasted to create 81,400 job openings (57 per cent of the total).

The occupation group with the most expected job openings is sales and service at 28,000 or 19.8 per cent of the total Manitoba job openings outlook. Job openings in Trades, transport and equipment operator occupations are estimated at 27,500 or 19.4 per cent, and occupations in education, law and social, community and government services are expected to produce 17,300 job openings over the forecast period, or 12.2 per cent.

Within the sales and service occupation group, the highest number of job openings is expected for retail salespersons, cashiers, and janitors, caretakers and building superintendents.

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

Of the 141,700 forecasted job openings over the five-year period, approximately 56 per cent are forecasted to require some post-secondary education and training (e.g., college, university, trade certification). The remaining 44 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 expected that there will be an additional 112,100 new workers over the forecast period to offset labour demand. The additional supply is forecasted to consist of 61,000 new entrants, 14,500 net in-migrants and 36,600 net other in-mobility workers.

With 112,100 workers joining the employed labour force and 77,300 people leaving due to retirements and deaths, the total effective labour force in Manitoba is projected to increase by 34,800 persons over the next five years..

Gaps in Demand versus Supply Click arrow to open

Manitoba's labour market is expected to remain relatively balanced over the projection period, with the overall supply for labour adequate to meet labour demand. Overall, there is expected to be a moderate surplus of labour in Manitoba between 2021 and 2025, with labour supply exceeding demand by an average of 6,900 per year. Jobs requiring education in business, finance, and administration, health, and no–post-secondary training are expected to experience the greatest labour shortages.

The Impacts of COVID-19 on Manitoba’s Labour Market Click arrow to open

On January 9, 2020 the World Health Organization announced the detection of a new coronavirus in Wuhan, China. The first Canadian case was reported on January 25, 2020 and the outbreak declared a worldwide pandemic on March 11, 2020.

Manitoba declared a state of emergency and subsequently began introducing economic restrictions to curb spread of the virus.

The emergence of COVID-19 has had a severe impact on the labour market in Canada and across the world. The ongoing intermittent shut-down of non-essential services to control the spread of the virus has raised unemployment rates, reduced labour force participation and significantly reduced hours worked.

Manitoba's labour market outlook for 2021 to 2025 reflects the actual impacts of COVID-19 on Manitoba's occupational and industry employment levels up to February 2021, with the forecast produced for March 2021 to December 2025 on an annualized basis.

In February 2021, employment levels in the province were still 17,100 persons below their February 2020 baseline (-2.6 per cent). Youth and part-time employment continued to be most significantly affected, with levels 10.3 per cent and 15.5 per cent lower than a year prior. Manitoba's February 2021 unemployment rate was 1.7 per cent higher than before the start of the pandemic.

Based on the nature of the public health restrictions implemented over the course of the pandemic, some industry sectors, particularly retail and accommodation services have been impacted to a greater degree than others.

In this model, all industries that were adjusted for COVID-19 effects assume a gradual recovery into 2022. That is, any industry that has been affected by COVID-19 is assumed to recover in January 2022 to employment levels that reflect expected growth absent COVID-19. An exception is Air Transportation, where the assumption is that a return to 2019 levels will not take place until 2024.

Due to the ongoing nature of the pandemic, adjustments to the report may be required if there are any drastic changes in the manner that the virus effects Manitoba's economy in the future.

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