Manitoba has a moderately strong economy based largely on natural resources. Its Gross Domestic Product was C$50.834 billion in 2008. The province’s economy grew 2.4% in 2008, the third consecutive year of growth. The average individual income in Manitoba in 2006 was C$25,100 (compared to a national average of C$26,500), ranking fifth-highest among the provinces. As of October 2009, Manitoba’s unemployment rate was 5.8%.
Manitoba’s economy relies heavily on agriculture, tourism, energy, oil, mining, and forestry.
Manitoba’s largest employers are government and government-funded institutions, including crown corporations and services like hospitals and universities. Major private-sector employers are The Great-West Life Assurance Company, Cargill Ltd., and James Richardson and Sons Ltd. Manitoba also has large manufacturing and tourism sectors. Churchill’s Arctic wildlife is a major tourist attraction; the town is a world capital for polar bear and beluga whale watchers. Manitoba is the only province with an Arctic deep-water seaport, which links to the shortest shipping route between North America, Europe and Asia