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York Region gains 27,000 jobs over course of pandemic

Region's annual employment and industry report shows growth, despite loss of 1,780 businesses
March 29, 2023
Joseph Quigley

Business opportunity in York Region is rising with the municipality reporting more than 27,000 jobs created since 2019, but the number of businesses still declined.

The region released its annual employment and industry report this week, highlighting market trends. With more than 33,000 businesses surveyed, the region estimated there has been a 4.7 per cent job growth rate since 2019, the last time the survey was done. That brings the region’s total to 615,780 jobs.

York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson said business and job growth are “fundamental to York Region’s economic vitality.”

"The increase in job and business growth across York Region over the last three years is a testament to the resilience of the region’s economy,” Emmerson said in a news release. “We will continue to work together with the business community to attract and retain businesses and high-quality, well-paying jobs across a broad range of sectors for York Region residents.”

The region has surveyed businesses with a physical location for the report since 1998 to provide a snapshot of the business community and employment. It was put on hold for the past couple of years due to the pandemic.

The report estimates that although job growth has continued to increase, particularly in health care, which gained 6,950 jobs, the number of businesses has declined. Since 2019, the report said 4,710 new businesses have opened, compared to 6,490 closures.

Professional, scientific and technical services, as well as retail and manufacturing, were some of the most impacted sectors over the course of the pandemic, the report said. But it later added that there are signs of recovery.

Most sectors "experienced subsequent growth indicating York Region’s business community has recovered well from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” it said.

The region is still at more than 55,600 businesses in total, according to the Statistics Canada Canadian Business Counts database.

“York Region remains a thriving economic hub for talent and opportunity,” councillor and chair of regional planning and economic development Joe DiPaola said in a news release. “We know many local businesses were negatively impacted through the COVID-19 pandemic, including some forced to close or chose to relocate outside of York Region. While we continue to recover, the optimistic growth of our overall business community demonstrates why York Region remains a desirable place to live, work and invest.”