News / Winnipeg

Fact Check: Does Manitoba really lead the country in job creation?

Metro fact checked the Premier's claim that Manitoba is tops for creating jobs. Recently, it's been good. But during Selinger's tenure? Not always.

At a Chamber of Commerce luncheon and State of the Province address in December, Premier Greg Selinger insisted Manitoba has been successful in creating jobs and growing the economy, and pledged that his government, if re-elected, would not just lean on that success but take it to the next level.

Braeden Jones/ Metro

At a Chamber of Commerce luncheon and State of the Province address in December, Premier Greg Selinger insisted Manitoba has been successful in creating jobs and growing the economy, and pledged that his government, if re-elected, would not just lean on that success but take it to the next level.

Premier Greg Selinger has boasted many times, leading up to an election call, about how Manitoba “leads the country in job creation.”

According to the numbers, it was found that he’s telling the truth— for 2014 and 2015.

In that time, Statistics Canada data released Tuesday shows Manitoba added 9,700 jobs; a 1.5 per cent increase that is the best in the country, and greater than the 0.8 per cent increase to the national total.

Selinger said Manitoba also has the “second best percentage in labour force growth and people coming into the labour market in 2015,” and the “second highest per cent increase in private sector (and) full-time employment.”

Provincial statistician Wilf Faulk agrees “in terms of labour market for Manitoba,” 2015 was, “a pretty darn good year.”

However, he admits the national average was lower than usual, given the slumping oil patch and significant job losses in Alberta.

Normally, “Alberta and Saskatchewan are at the top of the heap,” Faulk explained. “What they also do is … really affect the national average.”
That usually means inflating it, but not so in 2015.

“Now you’re seeing the downslide of the oil-producing provinces,” Faulk said.

Looking back at Selinger’s job creation record shows 2015 was the exception, but not the rule since he took office in 2009.

Between 2009 and 2015, total employment increased nationwide by 7.8 per cent, but just 5.97 per cent in Manitoba according to seasonally adjusted averages from Stats Can.

That long-term job creation record places Manitoba seventh out of 10 provinces, during which time Alberta led the pack with a 13.45 per cent increase.

During Selinger’s time as Premier, Manitoba outperformed only British Columbia (5.15 per cent increase), Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, which both decreased in total employment since 2009.

But Selinger said another shot at an NDP government would continue to build 2015’s momentum.

“It is absolutely fundamental now we keep our foot on jobs and the economy and not get distracted by other things like privatizing liquor stores,” he said, explaining it’s his belief that it’s best to create jobs “at a time when others are talking about cutting and tax breaks for big corporations.”

His focus moving forward is squarely on “the growing economy,” and he points to the five-year infrastructure program, continued Centreport development and strong tourism and manufacturing sectors as ways to keep creating new jobs in the province.