Need a job? These are Manitoba’s most in-demand occupations
Manitoba’s labour force is growing at a rate to supply enough workers for available positions into 2026, according to the province’s labour market outlook.
When digging into certain jobs and sectors, however, there are “many occupations and industries that will… face labour gaps over the next five years,” the outlook notes.
Most sorely needed in Manitoba are truck drivers, with the province expected to see an annual vacancy rate of 470 and an expected 4,300 vacant positions by 2026.
“Without a truck you can’t get goods anywhere, you need them,” said Chris Ferris, senior economist with Economic Development Winnipeg, adding that a trucker shortage has been affecting Manitoba for a number of years.
“It keeps intensifying, though, as truckers have been getting older and there hasn’t been as much replacement,” said Ferris.
Truck drivers are the most in-demand job in Manitoba that doesn’t require a post-secondary degree, making it a position that could be filled by new immigrants, Ferris said.
That’s a strategy welcomed by the Manitoba Truckers Association.
“Whatever opportunities are available, we want that smooth path, whether they be young adults or new Canadians, we want to fill these roles with safe and skilled drivers,” said Susan Green, communications officer with the Manitoba Truckers Association.
Manitoba is also facing a labour shortage of workers with a background in business.
Retail and wholesale trade manager is tied with nurse as the second-most-in-demand job in Manitoba, behind truck drivers, with an expected annual vacancy rate of 295 for both positions.
A need for graduates with a background in management and business is also cited labour market shortfall by the province’s economic outlook, especially as 87% of job vacancies in managerial roles are expected to come from retirements in the years ahead.
The Manitoba Chambers of Commerce says making Manitoba attractive to entrepreneurs and workers with managerial experience will be crucial in addressing this labour gap.
“Those people that are professionals can look at other jurisdictions where they can earn the most and keep the most money,” said Chuck Davidson, president and CEO with the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, “Manitoba hasn’t been competitive in those areas.”
“We need to put a lens on that and figure out how we keep those people here in Manitoba,” said Davidson.
A need for graduates with a background in management and business is also cited labour market shortfall by the province’s economic outlook, especially as 87% of job vacancies in managerial roles are expected to come from retirements in the years ahead. (Source: CTV News)
One simple reason skilled workers ranging from business professionals to teachers (also in high demand here in Manitoba) to nurses may be leaving Manitoba is cold, hard cash.
The average weekly earnings for a worker in Manitoba, across all industries, is ten per cent lower than the national average.
“We’re operating in a national labour market,” said Fletcher Baragar, associate professor of economics at the University of Manitoba.
“(Skilled workers) are attractive applicants to employers in other provinces and the wage difference may be a factor as to why they consider picking up and leaving,” he said.
Making Manitoba enticing to skilled workers, especially when it comes to earnings and taxation, is something the provincial government is working on, said Economic Development, Investment and Trade Minister Jeff Wharton.
Wharton adds there are existing elements to living and working in Manitoba that are already a boon to workers, a message that needs to be sent out to prospective employees.
“We have excellent housing pricing which is very competitive. We have some of the lowest hydro rates in the country. We have a lot to offer,” said Wharton, “But we need to continue to focus on those young graduates getting out of school and keeping them here working in Manitoba.”
While workers with specific skillsets will certainly be in high demand in Manitoba for years to come, so will jobs that require less formal training.
In fact, the educational category facing the largest labour gap is “no post-secondary,” with 3,860 jobs that only require a high school education or on-the-job training.
To address a shortage of workers – from university graduates to high school grads – the provincial government is looking to immigration to play a role.
“One of those areas we can look at… is increased immigration and looking for skillsets to fill the jobs that are here,” said Wharton.
Manitoba did see an uptick in immigration rates in the last year. Upwards of 40,000 immigrants entered Manitoba in 2022, well above the 5-year average of about 13,000 immigrants.
Population increases by immigration in 2022 were offset by interprovincial migration for a net population growth of 33, 489, or a rate of 2.36%, among the highest on record in Manitoba.
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