BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group

July 17, 2013 08:12 ET

BMO: Let's Create 12,000 Jobs Together in Winnipeg

- BMO releases report on outlook for economy, labour market and housing market in Winnipeg

- Diverse economy supporting growth

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwired - July 17, 2013) - The next three years will bring 12,000 new jobs to Winnipeg, according to a new report released today by BMO Economics.

The report on Manitoba's largest city is the latest in a series of economic, housing and business overviews for various cities and regions across Canada that will be published by BMO throughout this year.

"Manitoba's diverse economy continues to grow at a steady pace," said Robert Kavcic, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "Real GDP growth, at 2.0 per cent, is expected to remain above the national average. Stability remains one of Manitoba's key economic strengths, and the city of Winnipeg is no exception."

The labour market performance has been steady, with employment growth about matching the national average over the past decade. "Over the medium term, Winnipeg's labour market should be able to add about 12,000 jobs through 2016," noted Mr. Kavcic. "This would pull the jobless rate down to around 5 per cent, near the low end of Canada's major cities."

"Winnipeg is a strong economic engine for Manitoba and Western Canada, with local businesses providing diverse strengths," said John MacAulay, Senior Vice-President, Prairies, BMO Bank of Montreal. "With business owners making important investments in new equipment, in expanding their operations and hiring people, the best is yet to come. That's why BMO has made Winnipeg and Manitoba one of its top priorities, where we are ramping up our investment to provide improved support for our personal and commercial customers."

The report, released today, revealed:

Manufacturing sector

  • Transport and aerospace were hit hard in the downturn, but both industries are on the mend - improving finances among U.S. state and local governments are leading to more orders, and companies like Boeing Canada are ramping up production.
  • Recent weakness in the Canadian dollar, if it persists, will provide an added boost to exports.

Energy and Mining

  • The minerals sector has risen to nearly 7 per cent of total output.
  • Oil production is ramping up to almost 18 million barrels in 2012 from about 8 million just five years ago.

Housing Market

  • Like most Canadian cities, Winnipeg's housing market has softened in the wake of the fourth round of mortgage rule tightening implemented by Ottawa in July 2012.
  • Existing home sales in the city were down 6.3 per cent year over year in the first six months of the year, but average prices have pushed 7 per cent higher. In fact, prices in the city sat near a record level in June, despite softer demand.
  • Still-tight supply is supporting prices - new listings were little-changed from a year ago in June, and the sales-to-new listings ratio remains above long-run norms.
  • Affordability in the city is also favourable, with the average home price sitting at roughly 3.5x median family income, similar to Regina, lower than Calgary and miles below valuations of about 7x in Toronto and 10x in Vancouver.
  • Housing starts totalled just over 4,100 units in the twelve months through May, close to the highest level since the late 1980s.

The full report can be downloaded at

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly-diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $555 billion as at April 30, 2013, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

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