Manitoba had the dubious distinction of being the only province to see a decline in its help-wanted index in the final month of 2013, indicating there will be limited employment growth in the early part of 2014.
The Conference Board of Canada said Manitoba’s index fell 2.4 points in December, while all of the other provinces saw increases ranging from 0.9 points in Newfoundland and Labrador to 27.9 points in Saskatchewan.
The board’s Help-Wanted Index is based on the seasonally adjusted number of new, unduplicated jobs posted online during the month across 79 Canadian job-posting websites.
The Ottawa-based think-tank noted Manitoba’s index declined in seven of the 12 months in 2013.
"As the index suggested it would do, employment growth in the province has been limited over the past year," it added.
The board also said the near-term job prospects were positive for 17 of 27 Canadian cities surveyed last month, but Winnipeg wasn’t one of them. It was one of eight cities with "stable" job prospects.
It was also one of only two metropolitan areas in Western Canada — Abbotsford-Mission was the other — where labour market conditions in December were slacker than the national average of 1.8 unemployed workers for every online job posting.