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York Region beats Canada, Ontario and GTA on job growth
March 2, 2017
Lisa Queen  

York Region’s job growth is far outpacing the national, provincial and Greater Toronto Area rates, a new report says.

The region’s employment growth rate was 3.1 per cent in 2016 over 2015 with 15,000 new jobs created, the 2016 York Region Employment and Industry Report said. 

That puts York’s job growth rate at about eight times Canada’s 0.4 per cent rate, about six times Ontario’s 0.5 per cent rate and triple the GTA’s 1 per cent rate, according to the report which, in part, analyzed Statistics Canada labour force information.

York’s job growth increased to 3.1 per cent up from 2.7 per cent the year before.

During the same time, Canada’s growth rate fell to 0.4 per cent from 1.1 per cent, while Ontario’s declined to 0.5 per cent from 1.2 per cent and the GTA's rate tumbled to 1 per cent from 4.1 per cent.

“York Region is focused on creating an environment that attracts, grows and maintains businesses,” regional chair Wayne Emmerson said.

“We are investing millions of dollars to build modern transit, maintain our roads and provide high quality services like water and wastewater management. These improvements are contributing to York Region’s excellent quality of life and are helping to drive our success.” 

York’s health care and social service sector saw the single largest gain, adding 2,400 jobs last year, the report said.

The finance and insurance sector has added 13,000 jobs over the last decade, growing at a yearly rate of 7 per cent.

Meanwhile, the construction sector has added 17,600 jobs over the last 10 years, to a total of about 42,300 positions.

The number of jobs in the region has jumped to almost 600,000 from just under 210,000 a decade earlier, not surprising in such a quickly growing community, the report said.

Full-time employment continues to hold the lion’s share of the region’s job market but it is slipping, from 76.3 per cent in 2006 to 70.9 per cent last year, the report said. 

While it is important to provide for opportunities for part-time and contract work, the reduction of full-time employment could have implications for the region’s economic well-being, it said.

As elsewhere in Canada, knowledge-based and service-oriented jobs in York are growing at much faster pace than manufacturing work. 

Potential protectionism policies from the U.S. could have a direct impact on the region’s manufacturing sector, especially the automotive industry including major York employer Magna International.

The report’s highlights include: