Employment rates in the largest census metropolitan areas

The employment rate continues to be highest in Calgary

  • Since 1995, Calgary has consistently posted the highest employment rate of any major census metropolitan area (CMA). In 2007, 73.7% of all Calgarians aged 15 years and over were employed. In 2007, employment grew by 3.9%, an increase that was spread across several sectors, while the working-age population increased at a slightly faster rate of 4.1%. The tight Calgary labour market has placed upward pressure on wages. By the end of 2007, Calgary's average hourly wage reached $24.83, the highest in the country, surpassing even that of Ottawa, which has traditionally posted the highest average hourly wage rate.

  • In 2007, employment in Edmonton grew by 6.7%, twice the rate of growth of the working-age population. This pushed the employment rate up from 67.0% in 2006 to 69.1% in 2007, the second-highest in the country among large CMAs. Employment gains were in construction and manufacturing, as well as in a number of service industries with the largest in professional, scientific and technical services; accommodation and food services; and business, building and other support services.

  • Employment in Canada's largest city, Toronto, grew by 2.3% during 2007. Notable increases in a number of service industries such as professional, scientific and technical services; educational services; accommodation and food; and health care and social assistance more than offset losses in manufacturing. The working-age population grew at a slightly slower pace (up 1.8%) than employment, and the employment rate increased from 64.1% in 2006 to 64.4% in 2007.

  • In 2007, the employment rate in St. Catharines–Niagara continued to be the lowest among the 14 largest CMAs, at 59.0%. This region's population has the largest share of people aged 65 and over when compared to the rest of the CMAs, which is a factor in its low employment rate. In addition, the manufacturing sector employed 25,000 people in 2007, far below its peak attained 20 years earlier.

Chart D.1
Employment rates in the largest census metropolitan areas, 2007

Chart D.1 Employment rates in the largest census metropolitan areas, 2007

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, CANSIM table 282-0053.

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