Jobs and the Economy

We are investing in good jobs and skills training to grow our economy and make sure families like yours can build a future right here in Manitoba.

  • Brian Pallister is pushing for half a billion dollars in across-the-board cuts, which would mean putting our economy at risk and firing nurses and teachers. Instead, we’ve created a $5.5-billion infrastructure plan that will create nearly 60,000 jobs for Manitobans and will grow our economy by $6.3 billion.

  • Young people have a future here in Manitoba. Whether they’re learning a trade, graduating from university or starting their first job, our youth unemployment rate remains the second lowest in Canada.

  • Manitoba is one of the most affordable places to live in Canada. We plan to keep it that way, by guaranteeing Manitobans pay the lowest combined electricity, home heating and car insurance rates in the country.

At a time when the global and national economies are still making a fragile recovery, Brian Pallister still supports reckless cuts that will stop our economic momentum and hurt the services families count on.

That’s why it is so important that we keep our eye on the ball—creating good jobs for Manitobans with training opportunities and strategic investments in infrastructure.

Jobs and the Economy Stats & Facts

Giving young people the tools to succeed

This year, we introduced a new First Jobs Strategy. It invests in job readiness training, tax credits and paid work opportunities to help young Manitobans get their foot in the door.

More high school students are also taking advantage of skilled trade opportunities like the High School Apprenticeship Program, which combines classroom time with paid, part-time, on-the- job training.

We have provided major funding toward the first phase of a new Skilled Trades and Technology Centre for Red River College. This will house many of the high-demand construction trade programs, including carpentry, electrical and plumbing.

Manitoba is creating jobs faster than anywhere else in Canada

Businesses have said they want us to invest in urgently needed infrastructure to help them get their products to market. Our $5.5-billion infrastructure plan is meeting those business needs and creating nearly 60,000 good jobs for Manitobans.

In these uncertain economic times, our plan to invest in infrastructure is working. Manitoba is creating good jobs:

  • Our unemployment rate is the second lowest in the country. Our economy created more than 20,000 jobs last year—that’s the strongest job growth in Canada. Three out of four of these new jobs are in the private sector and four out of five are full-time.

  • BMO Capital Markets said Manitoba’s impressive job growth over the last year makes our province a “rising star” (Winnipeg Free Press, April 11, 2015).

  • Over the past five years, Manitoba’s average yearly economic growth was second best in Canada, ahead of Saskatchewan and behind only Alberta.

  • The Conference Board of Canada predicts that Manitoba will be a top economic performer this year and next—growing by 2.9% in 2015 and 3% in 2016, the best in Canada.

Supporting small businesses to keep our competitive edge

When Brian Pallister’s Conservatives were in government, they left Manitoba with the highest small business tax rate in Canada.

Since we formed government in 1999, we have become the only province in the country to completely eliminate the small business tax. We have removed 12,000 businesses from the tax rolls, giving them more flexibility to expand and hire, and in January 2016, we’re removing 2,000 more.

These tax breaks make a big difference: small businesses account for over 77% of all jobs created here in Manitoba.

In total, Manitoba businesses will pay $440 million less in taxes in 2014 compared to 1999—a total savings of $3.3 billion for Manitoba entrepreneurs.

Supporting innovation

Our plan is helping to fuel innovation and create high tech jobs. For example, our Data Processing Investment Tax Credit and our affordable Hydro rates have made Manitoba a competitive place for information technology.

The new $50-million MTS Data Centre and the opening of Canadian Tire’s new Cloud Nine Digital Innovation Centre in downtown Winnipeg are bringing hundreds of high-tech jobs to our province.

Investing in skills training

Last summer, our NDP government supported the Girls Exploring Trades and Technology camp, a one-week program offered through Red River College. Our Jobs & the Economy Minister Kevin Chief met with young women aged 12 to 14 who built a go-cart and acquired other skills training.

As well as investing in infrastructure, businesses say they want us to invest in skills training to meet the demand for skilled workers.

Brian Pallister thinks we should cut education funding, just like he did in the ’90s, when they cut $50 million from schools and laid off 700 teachers.

We disagree. Instead, our NDP government is focused on training skilled workers to fill in-demand jobs. Our plan is to grow the labour force by 75,000 workers by 2020.

We are helping businesses take on more apprentices by:

  • creating a new bonus for employers who take on apprentices for the first time;

  • rewarding employers that take on apprentices with an improved $5,000 tax credit that is easier to take advantage of; and

  • offering a new $1,000 bursary to help apprentices finish their final year of training.

We have tripled the number of active apprentices since we formed government—that’s nearly 11,000 active apprentices in over 55 provincial and Red Seal trades.

Our plan has helped build a province with affordable costs of living and a high quality of life. It makes our province a great place to live, work, invest and start a business.

October 2015