Manitoba Employment: A Closer Look

I just appeared on CJOB radio in Winnipeg. Richard Cloutier asked me about the national manufacturing crisis, but not much about Manitoba in particular. I was, of course, delighted to speak about one of the CLC’s main concerns. However, in looking at Manitoba’s numbers before the interview, I noticed that this province is bucking the national trend in an important way.

Superficially, it seems that employment has decreased and unemployment has increased proportionally more in Manitoba than in Canada as a whole. However, “employment” consists of both paid jobs and self-employment. Canada as a whole lost paid employment, leading to more self-employment. By contrast, Manitoba increased paid employment, leading to a decrease in self-employment.

Unemployment appears to have increased by 3,100 people in Manitoba. However, this figure consists of a 900-person decline in self-employment and 2,200 people who entered the labour force but did not find jobs. While Canada’s participation rate declined, Manitoba’s increased.

In other words, the province is creating paid employment, which is drawing people out of self-employment and into the labour force. Manitoba seems to be doing something right.

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