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A snapshot of province's workforce

Older, busier and rooted

Manitoba workers are older, luckier at the job hunt and tend to be homebodies compared to other Canadians.

They're also more likely to work in agriculture.

New data from Statistics Canada's national household survey, done in 2011, paint a reasonably rosy picture of the province's labour force.

"Like the rest of the Prairies, Manitoba has a very dynamic labour market," said Statistics Canada's S©bastien Larochelle-C¥t©.

More Manitobans are employed compared to the national average. And, at 65 per cent, Winnipeg had the seventh-healthiest employment rate of 33 urban centres in Canada.

Despite national fears of a high rate of youth unemployment, Winnipeggers are bucking that trend. The youth employment rate in 2011 was 13 per cent across Canada but 15 per cent in Winnipeg and across the province.

More Manitoba seniors are also staying on the job -- a long-term trend as life-expectancy grows and people delay retirement. In Canada, only 3.4 per cent of workers were 65 or older. In Manitoba, that number was slightly higher at 4.1 per cent.

"Manitoba's employment rate is higher at both ends of the spectrum," said Larochelle-C¥t©.

The data, which were gathered voluntarily from Canadians, cannot be directly compared with the 2006 census, which was mandatory.

But it does provide a broad snapshot of regional trends.

Manitoba's top jobs -- retail salesperson, registered nurse, food services worker -- generally mirrored those in the rest of Canada, with one notable exception. The second most-common job was agricultural manager, which ranked only 20th nationwide.

Another piece of good news: Recent immigrants found work more easily in Winnipeg than in many places in Canada. People who had emigrated to Winnipeg within the last five years had an employment rate of 68 per cent, higher than Winnipeg's overall average, higher than the national average for immigrants and better than immigrants in big cities such as Toronto.

On the downside, the survey backs up the often-heard criticism Manitoba bleeds workers and fails to attract many from other provinces. Manitoba had the third-lowest proportion of workers who lived in another province in the last five years. Only four per cent of Manitoba's workers moved to Manitoba for work between 2006 and 2011.

maryagnes.welch@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 28, 2013 A7

History

Updated on Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 8:06 AM CDT: adds fact box

9:24 AM: corrects spelling of Sébastien Larochelle-Côté

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