Uneven Job Creation in Ontario’s Urban Centres from 2008 to 2019

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Uneven Job Creation in Ontario’s Urban Centres from 2008 to 2019


  • This bulletin updates previous work measuring job creation in urban centres across Ontario.
  • We find that in the GTA, in several Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) immediately surrounding the GTA, and in Ottawa, rates of job creation were above the national average between 2008 and 2019.
  • Conversely, we find that seven CMAs in the rest of the province have experienced a lower job creation rate than the national average during this period. In five CMAs, job growth has been either negative or very low (less than 5 percent over the period analyzed).
  • Non-CMA areas (smaller towns and rural areas) cumulatively experienced a significant (9.7 percent) drop in employment between 2008 and 2019.
  • The combined population of CMAs where the job growth has been below the national average and people living in non-CMA areas is more than 3.7 million. If this group were its own province, it would be Canada’s fourth most populous—and be more populous than Atlantic Canada. As such, the challenges that this cluster of Ontario areas faces should be recognized as a national economic challenge.
  • Because of the way economic performance diverges across Ontario, there may be information gaps among Ontarians and among policymakers about economic conditions elsewhere in the province. This bulletin aims to help close those information gaps.

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