How Canada Performs rankings show province avoided worst of the
recession, but areas of weakness remain
OTTAWA, May 15, 2014 /CNW/ - Manitoba's diversified economy served it
well during the global recession, when it was one of the steadiest
performers in the developed world. Manitoba's economic challenge now is
to attract more investment and boost labour productivity, according to
The Conference Board of Canada's first "How Canada Performs: Economy" report card to compare the 10 provinces and 16 advanced countries.
Released today, and building on previous "How Canada Performs" analyses, the Economy report card is the first of six to be produced
over the next year on Canadian and provincial socio-economic
"Manitoba is doing many things right. It has a diversified economy, it is attracting people and it
has a young population," said Glen Hodgson, Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist. "To build on these
strengths, Manitoba has to continue to improve its labour
• Manitoba compared favourably to other jurisdictions in 2013 on
unemployment rates, GDP growth and employment growth.
• Manitoba's economic challenge now is to attract more investment and
boost labour productivity.
Manitoba gets a "C" grade overall, and ranks 17th among the 26
jurisdictions (10 provinces and 16 countries, including Canada).
Manitoba and other Prairie provinces have low unemployment rates that
are close to those of the top-performing countries, such as Norway.
While much of the attention focuses on Alberta and Saskatchewan,
Manitoba also has an enviable unemployment rate, earning an "A" grade
in that category. Manitoba scores an "A" on GDP growth as well, and a
"B" on employment growth.
Manitoba also does well on labour productivity growth, with one of the
highest growth rates between 2008 and 2012 among advanced economies.
The province gets a "B" grade—one of only two provinces receiving the
same rank—and is third behind Ireland and the United States.
On the downside, levels of labour productivity remain low. Only the
Maritime provinces and one peer country, Japan, had a lower level of
labour productivity than Manitoba in 2012. Low productivity levels
explain the province's poor performance on income per capita. Manitoba
received a "D" grade on income per capita, although its 17th place
finish in 2013 reveals a steady improvement from 23rd place in 2004.
One way to improve the province's labour productivity performance is to
more fully engage in global markets for greenfield foreign direct
investment (FDI)—that is, investment that expands an existing business
or creates a new business (as opposed to a merger or acquisition).
With trade liberalization and the rise of global supply chains, FDI has
become a key driver of global economic growth. Countries and provinces
compete to attract FDI because FDI can help boost productivity.
Compared to British Columbia and Alberta, Manitoba is not performing
well on either inward or outward greenfield FDI.
The Conference Board will host Prairies Business Outlook Webinar, focusing on Manitoba and Saskatchewan, on June 25, at 10 a.m. Central
How Canada Performs is an ongoing research program at The Conference Board of Canada to
help leaders identify relative strengths and weaknesses in Canada's
socio-economic performance. The How Canada Performs website presents data and analysis on Canada's performance compared to
peer countries in six performance categories: Economy, Innovation, Environment, Education and Skills, Health, and
This is the first year that provincial and territorial rankings are
included in the analysis.
The Education and Skills report card will be released in June.
SOURCE: Conference Board of Canada
For further information:
Yvonne Squires, Media Relations, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 221