WINNIPEG, Nov. 4, 2011 /CNW/ - Manitoba appears to be enjoying relative
economic prosperity with GDP rising by 2.5 per cent and the job
creation rate reaching 1.9 per cent in 2010, according to the MB Check-Up 2011, the tenth annual economic analysis of the province as a place to live,
work, and invest by the Chartered Accountants of Manitoba.
"Our province's diverse economy bore the brunt of the global financial
crisis in 2009, weathering the storm and emerging fairly unscathed.
Steady manufacturing activity and a surge in the resource sector in
2010 provided the necessary economic stimulus to jump start our
provincial economy," said Gary Hannaford, CEO of the Institute of
Chartered Accountants of Manitoba.
Manitobans also have the advantage of low financial vulnerability due to
low levels of debt, and one of the lowest unemployment rates in the
Despite this positive outlook, there are troubling indicators related to
education. Among the western provinces, Manitoba has the highest high
school dropout rate and the lowest level of educational attainment for
the 25 to 54 year old workforce.
"An educated workforce is critical to Manitoba's future economic
well-being. Yet, compared to other Canadian provinces, Manitoban
students are more likely to drop out of high school and not to pursue
post-secondary education," Hannaford said. "Overcoming these problems
is a complex task that will require a multi-faceted approach and a
The MB Check-Up shows that between 2005 and 2010, Manitoba had the highest percentage
of youth who did not graduate from high school compared to the other
western provinces, Ontario, and Canada. In 2010, this percentage rose
by 0.9 percentage points to 11.6 per cent.
"High school completion is the critical first step toward a secure
future. A high school diploma not only provides entry to post-secondary
education, it also sends a strong signal to prospective employers,"
The transition to post-secondary education is also critical to future
employment prospects. The study shows that in 2010, 59.5 per cent of
the labour force in Manitoba aged 25 to 54 had completed some level of
post-secondary education - the second-lowest percentage in western
Canada and considerably lagging behind the national average (67.3 per
"In Manitoba, three key factors that appear to explain the low level of
enrollment in post-secondary programs are geographic isolation,
cultural factors, and financial constraints," Hannaford said.
The MB Check-Up goes on to explain that a significant proportion of Manitoba's
population lives in rural areas and small towns, far from the post
secondary institutions concentrated in large cities. Also, Aboriginal
students continue to face challenges within the school system; this
appears to be particularly so in Manitoba, which has one of Canada's
largest numbers of aboriginal youth 15 years and older without a high
school education. And that the cost of post-secondary education is a
major barrier for students from low-income families, many of who live
in rural and aboriginal communities.
"Manitoba faces definite challenges with respect to increasing
educational attainment within the labour force. The provincial
government has identified and put in place a number of programs but all
Manitobans, including business, educators, and the general public have
a role to play in finding solutions. There are no easy answers. We hope
that MB Check-Up will be used as a tool to stimulate discussion and encourage
leadership, helping everyone to focus on the key points where change
can have the greatest impact to improve Manitoba's competitiveness,"
MB Check-Up is published annually by the Chartered Accountants of Manitoba and
provides an independent factual comparison of the four Western
provinces, together with Ontario and the Canadian average using 11 key
indicators to create a profile of each as a place to live, a place to
work and a place to invest.
With nearly 2,900 members and 400 CA students, the Institute of
Chartered Accountants of Manitoba carries out its primary mission to
protect the public by ensuring that its members have the highest level
of competence and integrity as a result of demanding standards for
admission to the profession, its continuous learning policy and its
inspection and discipline processes. Thanks to the quality and rigor of
their education and training, CAs bring superior financial expertise,
strategic thinking, business insight and leadership to every
SOURCE Institute of Chartered Accountants of Manitoba
For further information:
Tanya Beck, Manager of Communications
p: 204 924.4416 e: firstname.lastname@example.org