Ontario Labour Market Update
Fundamental Economic Drivers
Monetary Policy and the Canada/US Exchange Rate
Projection Summary for the US
3 2009 Q4 2009 Q1 2010 Q2 2010
GDP Growth 0.5 0.0 0.6 0.7
GDP Inflation 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.6
Unemployment Rate 9.7 10.1 10.0 9.7
3-Month T-Bill 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.3
($US Per Barrel, West Texas Intermediate)
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Source: New York Mercantile Exchange
Exchange Rate US/Canada
USD = U.S. dollar (noon)
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Source: Bank of Canada nominal noon exchange rates
Fiscal Policy- Economic Action Plan
Economic Action Plan in the January 2009 federal budget included
major infrastructure spending over the next twenty-four months.
EI is acting as an automatic stabilizer to the economy by providing
income support to laid off workers. Additional funding for EI
supports this stabilizing function.
Demographics are important
The current situation
Demographics and population aging are slowing labour force growth and
the participation rate is also weakening as a result of the downturn. This has
moderated the upward pressure on the unemployment rate.
The province's unemployment rate fell to 9.2% in September a decline of
0.2 percentage points from August.
The good news is that employment in Ontario increased slightly for a third
consecutive month in September, and has risen by 39,000 since June.
The bad news is that compared to last September, just before the start of
the labour market downturn, Ontario employment has fallen by 205,000 (-
September employment gains were in retail and wholesale trade,
construction and in manufacturing.
Infrastructure spending and the Economic Action Plan starting to impact the
Ontario Employment and Unemployment Rate
Unemployment Rate %
Employment Unemployment rate 2
Sep-07 Sep-08 Sep-09
By Region and Major Municipality
Southwestern and Northern Ontario remain the areas most affected
although the Toronto situation has also deteriorated.
Windsor Economic Region Unadjusted Unemployment Rate for
September 2009 was 12.3%.
London and Toronto Regions at 10.9% and 10.4% respectively.
Northeastern Ontario Region Unadjusted Unemployment rate was
Autos have been key and forestry remains problematic
Auto industry restructuring has been ongoing. Return to work for Chrysler and
emergence of GM from bankruptcy have lessened the uncertainty although the
sector, particularly parts, will continue to evolve.
Continuing uncertainty around forestry bankruptcies.
Forest products have been Ontario’s second biggest net export, over $9 billion
(newsprint, market pulp, lumber and composite panels). Vertically integrated industry.
Lack of capital investment over last 20 years in research and development, new
technologies, mills and equipment
Collapse of US housing boom resulting in lower prices for lumber and most other
Northwest Ontario most dependent and affected
Pulp and paper’s “perfect storm”
- rapid rise in Canadian dollar
- rise in energy costs and transportation costs
- low cost foreign competitors
- decline in demand for newsprint
But some sectors’ employment is up over the past year
Finance Insurance and Real Estate
Professional Scientific and Technical Services
Information Culture and Recreation
Other Services including Repair and Maintenance, Personal Services, Civic
Organizations and Private Households
And commodities are coming back…
The price of gold is at a record high
The Bending Lake Iron Group is developing plans for an open pit iron mine
south of Ignace in Northwest Ontario. The main industrial site for the mine
will be located in Atikokan. Once the mine is operational they expect to
employ 300 full time workers.
Higher oil prices are good for Alberta but not so good for Ontario
However high energy prices can also be a catalyst for development.
Green Shoots…the impact of Green Energy Investments
New investments imply new labour market opportunities
Energy Conservation and Demand Response
Green Energy Act September 24 2009
Feed-in-tariffs- wind and solar farm construction
Increasing domestic content requirements
Power transmission investment in $2.3 billion in projects designed to
increase reliability of power transmission in the province.
Half of the projects will be located in Northern Ontario. These projects are
expected to create 6,000 jobs and thousands of megawatts of energy
Green Energy impacts
New opportunities in a wide range of manufacturing and green energy services
• Wind turbine manufacturing jobs in welding, machining and fabrication
• Financial analyst-budgeting, cost of sales and ERP analysis for growing solar
• Financing specialist start-ups and real estate acquisition for new energy developments
• Key accounts representative with engineering technician background for industrial
markets and distribution generation
• Electrical transmission line construction
New skills in existing professions
• LEED commercial office construction planning and management
• Instrumentation and Controls Engineer- Energy conservation
• Supervisor, Meter Communications & Technology
New emerging fields and professions
• Electrical Grid Load management and Demand Response consulting
• Residential and industrial energy auditors
• Engineering technician and installer-HVAC systems and solar energy
• Municipal Energy Conservation Coordinator
• In-water windfarm maintenance
• Superintendent for photovoltaic construction site