SOURCE: The Fraser Institute

The Fraser Institute

November 02, 2017 05:00 ET

Fraser Institute News Release: Nearly half of Ontario's urban areas have fewer jobs now than in 2008

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - November 02, 2017) - Employment growth in Ontario since the recession has been heavily concentrated in the Greater Toronto and Ottawa areas, while many of the province's other cities and towns struggle with job loss, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

"Queen's Park's rosy view of Ontario's post-recession recovery ignores the much more difficult reality in many parts of the province," said Ben Eisen, director of the Fraser Institute's Ontario Prosperity Initiative and co-author of Uneven Recovery: Much of Ontario still hasn't fully recovered from the 2008 recession.

The study finds that 11 of the province's 23 urban areas actually experienced net job losses from 2008 to 2016.

Job growth was negative in several large urban centres in northern and southwestern Ontario, including London (-1 per cent), Sudbury (-1 per cent), Timmins (-6.3 per cent) and Sarnia (-20.7 per cent).

Since the recession, the city of Cornwall has lost 33 per cent of its jobs.

Crucially, only six of the province's 23 urban areas experienced job growth higher than the national average of 6.3 per cent.

In fact, nearly all (98.6 per cent) of the province's net job creation between 2008 and 2016 was confined to the metropolitan areas of Toronto and Ottawa, with the rest of the province experiencing almost no job creation over the eight-year period.

"Ontario's overall economic performance over the past decade has been weak -- but the data shows the pain hasn't been spread evenly across the province," Eisen said.

Change in total employment (%) by urban area from 2008 to 2016
Census area Employment change Census area Employment change
Oshawa +18.0 London -1.0
Toronto +12.2 Sudbury -1.0
Guelph +11.7 Thunder Bay -3.5
Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo +9.7 Peterborough -4.8
Ottawa +6.9 Timmins -6.3
Barrie +6.1 North Bay -9.0
Windsor +6.0 Chatham-Kent -10.2
Kingston +4.4 Sault Ste. Marie -16.1
Hamilton +4.2 Sarnia -20.7
St. Catharines-Niagara +2.3 Cornwall -32.8


Ben Eisen, Director, Ontario Prosperity Initiative

Fraser Institute

To arrange media interviews, or for more information please contact:

Bryn Weese, Media Relations Specialist, Fraser Institute
(604) 688-0221 ext. 589

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The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal and ties to a global network of think-tanks in 87 countries. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for Canadians, their families and future generations by studying, measuring and broadly communicating the effects of government policies, entrepreneurship and choice on their well-being. To protect the Institute's independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit

Contact Information

  • To arrange media interviews, or for more information please contact:
    Bryn Weese
    Media Relations Specialist, Fraser Institute
    (604) 688-0221 ext. 589