Where the big money was in the Manitoba economy in 2012

Statistics Canada released its latest labour force productivity numbers this past week, normally a ho-hum affair. That’s no surprise: the word “productivity” strikes fear in the human heart, having become unfortunately associated with longer days, shorter lunch breaks and lower wages.

In fact, productivity shouldn’t be so scary a word. Higher output per hour worked is positively associated with basic well-being measures such as GDP per capita. And it is the countries that work fewer hours that are more productive, a real-life validation of Parkinson’s Law, which concluded that, “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

Now, having made that point, let’s get to what the latest StatsCan numbers reveal about the Manitoba economy.

Overall, Manitobans averaged $45.20 in economic output per hour worked in 2012 — or at least in the 2007 dollars that StatsCan prefers to track productivity levels in. That’s not too bad, as you’ll see further below. It’s interesting to note, however, how widely productivity levels vary by sector.

The biggest boosters to this provincial average were the energy, mining, oil and gas sectors, in which economic output per hour worked was many times the provincial average and well above $100 per hour. Real estate, rental and leasing also produced quite a lot of economic output per hour worked, which might explain that industry’s economic and political sway.

Information and cultural industries and utilities also helped boost the average.

Industries at the lower end of the scale included the retail trade, administrative and support services, arts, entertainment and recreation, and accommodation and food services.

Source: CANSIM 383-0029

Source: CANSIM 383-0029. Click to enlarge.

Unsurprisingly, the high productivity associated with energy and mining put the provinces and territories most involved in those sectors at the top of the national productivity chart. B.C., Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba finished within a fairly narrow band just below the national average, while the three non-resource-rich East Coast provinces trailed a bit further behind.

Source: CANSIM 383-0029. Click to enlarge.

Source: CANSIM 383-0029. Click to enlarge.


About theviewfromseven
A lone wolf and a bit of a contrarian who sometimes has something to share.

3 Responses to Where the big money was in the Manitoba economy in 2012

  1. unclebob says:

    Some sectors of our economy respond better than others. You have noted some that do respond. It is worthwhile to consider what does not. Rant set aside for now.

  2. cherenkov says:

    I wonder how Stats Can accounts for government productivity (aside from Utilities) in that breakdown?

  3. theviewfromseven says:

    Good question. I’ll do some more rummaging through CANSIM’s tables and see if I can find something.

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